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Homeopathy, Homoeopathy or Homœopathy

Homeopathy also spelled as Homoeopathy or Homœopathy, is derived from two Greek words 'Hmoeos' meaning similar and 'Pathos' meaning suffering. It is a form of alternative medicine, introduced and developed by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann wherein patients are treated with heavily diluted preparations based on the law Similia Similibus Curentur i.e Let likes be treated by likes.

Homeopathy / Homoeopathy is not an old science like other medical streams, but achieved an eminent place in a very short span. This shows the success of Homeopathic remedies. Where other medical sciences are still seeking the better remedies to cure diseases without side effects, homeopathy is using the same methods and remedies successfully, which were used when homeopathy was started.


The Philosophy behind Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the therapeutic law Similia Similibus Curentur, i.e. Let likes be treated by Likes. It means that for any ailment we give a remedy which has the property of producing exactly same symptom when given in healthy patient. Like Cinchona has property of producing malaria like symptom when given in healthy patient so when we give Cinchona for malaria like symptom (disease state) it establishes cure. Now the concept of cure in Homeopathy is also different from conventional medicine; it means establishing health rapidly, gently and permanently unlike temporary relief of symptoms.

Homeopathy believes that Health is maintained when our Vital Force (life force) is in its normal state; whenever Vital Force is weakened by stronger diseases' force we become diseased or sick. This condition is expressed by our body in the form of signs and symptoms which are known as "cry of diseased vital force".

Understanding the language of symptoms is very important in Homeopathy, even the local symptoms, mostly found in skin diseases are also very important. These do not depict an external complaint which can be relieved by external application; for the cause of disease lies deep within the body and so needs a holistic approach. Even the local skin infectious need careful consideration; if all persons in a family are subjected to same nutrition and life style why does only one of them suffer disease? It is because each of us has different susceptibility to disease and so we have different tolerance levels for diseases.

Again the symptoms we present with may or may not be similar in different individuals for e.g. common cold can be expressed in some people in the form of headache, as sneezing and nasal discharge in some while others can approach with difficulty in swallowing. This is because every individual is different and so his expression of disease is different; this is Law of Individualisation - a major tenet of Homeopathy.

The next important thing about Homeopathy which makes it superior to other therapeutic sciences is the Law of Drug proving. Homeopathic remedies are proved by testing them on healthy human beings of different ages, both sexes and of various constitutions to know their full therapeutic potential before prescribing it to diseased individual. All homeopathic remedies have first been tried and tested on thousands of other individuals before being given to you or your near and dear ones.


Homeopathic Medicines :: Elements & Preparation

Oh! little pill, Oh! little pill,
You are as tiny, as the pearl Sago,
You are sweet and not bitter,
But what a wonder,
still you cure my actual disease,
Without side effects, fastly and ease.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared by a process of serial dilution and shaking known as potentization or dynamisation whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and then vigorously shaken by hard strikes with hands or machine in a process called succussion. The more homeopathic remedies are diluted and shaken, the stronger their action becomes. Hahnemman found that infinitesimal dose prepared by this method has more power than original substance which can be utilized in curing diseased individuals. By this he introduced Law of Minimum.

There are three essential processes involved in preparation of remedies: (a) Serial dilution, (b) Succussion, (c) Trituration.

Dilution is the means by which we reduce the toxicity of the original crude drug. Serial dilution means that each dilution is prepared from the dilution that immediately preceded it. For an example imagine one drop of ink dissolved in ten drops of water. Only 1/10 of the ink would be present. If one diluted it again, only 1/100 of the ink would remain, barely any color would still be visible. Now, if one repeat this process six times, only one part per million of the original drop of ink would remain in the solution, and the mixture would appear colorless. This is called 6x potency.

As described above succussion is a process where the medicated substance is energized by shaking and stroking. By succussion the "foot prints" of the active ingredient are imprinted on each molecule of the liquid (water or alcohol), so that in extreme dilutions even though no active ingredient is present "The energetic memory" of the remedy is transferred to the molecular structure of the dilution.


Homeopathic Medicines :: Selection & Repetition

Selection of proper medicine, dose, potency and repetition, depends on various aspects of patient's life. Other than his symptoms, his constitution i.e. physical and mental characteristics, his behavior, core nature, disease history, previous medicines, and even the predominant miasm play an important role in choosing the similimum or the exact remedy. Miasms - Psora, Sycosis and Syphillis are the underlying cause of disease, they hinder the cure process preventing treatment unless dealt by suitable antimiasmatic drug. This principle is called The Theory of Chronic Diseases.

For proper selection, homeopaths do case taking where they collect necessary information about the patient in order to form patient picture which matches with the medicine picture. For this they even refer to the repertory which is a dictionary of symptoms with related remedies or materia medica, which deals with the description of medicinal portrait. With the help of Similia Similibus Curentur theory, it is taken into consideration that the drug really matches the overall reactivity of the patient.

Now it comes to selection of dose, potency and its repetition. In homeopathy, the 'dose' means the number of minim (drop) or tablet. The choice of the potency and the dose should correspond to the patient's reactivity at that moment of treatment. The 'dose' i.e. the amount of substance or energy, needs to correspond with the 'Laws of Stimulant Therapy' - "the greater the irritant effect, the smaller dose; the more inert the substance, the greater the dose".

'Potency' literally means power or strength. The potencies are energized dilutions (or attenuations) of the mother tinctures of homoeopathic remedies. Potency numbers which follow the name (like: 3x, 6x, 200C or 200, etc.) of the homoeopathic remedies indicate the number of sequential or serial dilutions and successions (potentisation steps) of the original mother tincture.

Repetition of Dose is after what interval the medicine is to be repeated to complete curative action.


Future of Homeopathy

Homeopathy is the 'Medicine of Future'. Nowadays a lot of people are following homeopathy. Where conventional system of medicine has many side effects, homeopathy is safe. It uses a minute amount of extracts from nature, so it can continue in a future where natural resources are limited. It is easy to take, have longer shelf life and moreover as we move to next century new diseases have been identified and each time the conventional scientists have to search and research for medicine to each new disease while homeopathy offers ready solution as we prescribe on symptoms alone and not on the name of disease. So the future of homeopathy is bright.


Why people still following constitutional system of medicine

Homeopathy is a miracle, but still, many of us follow the traditional medicine. The question 'WHY?' has many answers, some are:

  • It is the human nature to do the known thing. Normally a person does not change his lifestyle and thinking till it does not prove an obstacle or harm him. Adoption of new has risks, so generally people avoid adopting new concepts
  • Homeopathy hasn't a solid network all over the countries, to collect each and every success story, cases, provings, etc., to provide it as an evidence for society and to investigate the reasons of failures and to find out new diseases and remedies.
  • Homeopathy doesn't promote itself as traditional medicine do. It has approximately 0.2% of total medical journals and magazines published every year.
  • Many organizations (which are directly or indirectly connected with conventional system of medicine) are spreading myths and delusive information about homeopathy, so that general public gets confused and continues to follow the same remedy.
  • In comparison to conventional system of medicine, homeopathy institutes are less with lesser facilities for a student, to learn with ease. In some countries government policies are also not in favour of homeopathy. Homeopathy is treated as one of alternative medicines and not a complete science. Homeopath gets only diploma and not a degree and he cannot put 'Dr.' with his name. He never gets the respect which a conventional medicine doctor gets, even when both are working for the same purpose (that is cure) and with full dedication.
  • Homeopathy medical shops and hospitals are not available everywhere for a patient.
  • There are some cases where homeopathy is not much effective or there is some need to do new researches in homeopathy, like in surgical cases and also there are some cases where conventional system of medicine is helpless and homeopathy has definite success, like in kidney stone or in mental diseases. No science is complete in itself, but when it comes to matter of choice, most of us move towards traditional methods, only because we are used to them and their side effects.