Homeopathy: A complete medical science
Mahatma Gandhi: “Homeopathy cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method …and is beyond all doubt safer, more economical and the most complete medical science.”
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is effective and scientific system of healing that uses natural remedies to stimulate the body’s natural healing powers.
Although many people know homeopathy as an alternative or complementary system of medicine, it is a complete medical science itself.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that Homeopathy is the second leading system of medicine for primary health care in the world.
Is Homeopathy same as herbal medicine?
People tend to call any type of natural therapy viz. Isopathy, herbal medicine, flower remedies etc as Homeopathy. Like other natural therapies, Homeopathic medicines are also prepared from various natural sources like plants, animals, minerals etc. However Homeopathy has its own individual approach in preparation of medicines and administration of medicine to a sick individual. That makes Homeopathy unique and different from all other natural therapies.
How Homeopathy differs from conventional medicine (Allopathy)?
Conventional approach of treatment is focused on bringing the disease in control by suppressing disease symptoms. This approach assumes that different individuals with same diseases can be treated in the same way. With this approach everyone gets pain killers to get relief from pain, gets antacids to get relief from acidity and similarly antihypertensive drugs for hypertension etc.
In contrast, Homeopathy believes each organism is unique and treats the individual, not the disease. The homeopath seeks to determine root cause of illness that weakens the individual. So10 different persons suffering from hypertension get 10 different remedies. Each individual receives a remedy that is suitable for his/her constitution.
is Homeopathy a new system of medicine?
Homeopathy is 200 years old system of medicine. It was discovered and developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It is based on the principle that “like cures like.” In simple words, it means that any substance, which can produce symptoms in a healthy person, can cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. This idea is referred to as the “Law of Similars”, and was understood by Aristotle and Hippocrates. It is also mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts. It was Hahnemann, however, who turned it into a science of healing.
Homeopathic medicines stimulate body’s immunity or natural system of healing to bring out cure. In homeopathy, specific medicines are given in extremely small doses suitable to the person. So it is non toxic way to stimulate the body to heal itself.
The following cardinal principles of Homeopathy make it effective, gentle and safe method of healing and a unique medical science:
1. Law of Similars: This basic principle of Homeopathy means that the patient’s symptoms provide direct clues to what his/her body needs to get cured of the illnesses. For example, an onion is a substance which makes your eyes water and nose burn. If you are having an attack of hay fever with watering eyes and a burning nose, a Homeopathic remedy made from onion can relieve it.
2. Law of Minimum dose: Homeopathic medicines are given in extremely minute doses. Homeopath while taking your case history calculates the minimum required dose of a specific medicine that is sufficient to stimulate the process of cure. Since, it’s your own natural healing power that brings out a complete cure, you do not get dependant on or addicted to Homeopathic medicines.
3. Theory of Potentization: We all know that conventional medicines can cause side effects, sometimes leading to much suffering. In an effort to prevent side effects, Hahnemann began successive dilution with agitation of his medicines, to find the point at which they would be therapeutic, but not toxic. This process is called as potentization. The more a remedy is potentized (diluted), the more effectively it cures and without any side effects.
4. Principle of Individualization: No two persons are alike. Similarly no two persons react alike in sickness. Though they may be having the same complaint and the same disease label, the symptoms of one patient differ from the symptoms of all others. Below is the beautiful example that illustrates this principle.
Two persons from the same family are suffering from influenza at the same time. Both of them have complains of fever, nasal congestion, cough, throat irritation, loss of appetite and weakness.
In first person, complains started gradually over a period of 2 days. He has fever with chills prior to rise of temperature. He wants to lie down constantly covered with blanket. He is not eating anything other than fruits and juices. He is complaining of severe body ache with pain in all joints. And his joint pains aggravate with every movement.
The second family member got fever and cold suddenly after drinking cold drinks. He is complaining of severe headache with the rise of body temperature. The headache is so severe that he wants to sit alone in a dark room as headache aggravates with slightest ray of light or noise. The light of a bulb or sound of music is simply intolerable to him. He has no desire to talk with anybody and he gets angry if anybody approaches to talk with him. He desires for a hot tea since sick.
So though the label (disease diagnosis) is same, the picture is vastly different. In fact they are suffering from their own peculiar disease. Therefore they require different medicines. Homeopath prescribes a medicine for each individual patient and not for the name of the disease.
200 years ago Dr. Hahnemann was the first person in the medical science to say that every individual is different individual. Today with the development of electron microscope, the scientists have come up with Genome Theory. This theory has categorically proved that every individual has a unique genetic map making him/her different from others. Even the authorities of the conventional medical science say that every individual might require a different medicine.
The response to the Homeopathic remedy varies from person to person. Some people start experiencing sense of well being physically as well as mentally soon after receiving Homeopathic remedy while in others the response may be delayed depending upon the nature of their disease. Some people may experience a initial period of aggravation of their complains before they start feeling better. Some people may develop new minor symptoms such as itching, cold or any form of discharge. All these symptoms last shortly and indicate that the body is getting cleaned. The toxins and impurities inside the body are getting thrown out by itself. Since these symptoms are good signs of cure, they should not be treated separately. So while receiving Homeopathic treatment it is important that the patient should discuss every little concern about health with Homeopath. Also your Homeopath discusses with you about what is expected next during the process of healing.
Homeopathy has solution for almost all types of health problems. Following are the examples of few disease conditions which are commonly treated with Homeopathy.
common health complains:
· Skin diseases: eczema, hair fall, fungal infections, warts, dermatitis, allergies, pimples and acne, psoriasis etc.
· Diabetes, hypertension, angina, heart diseases, cholesterol, thyroid diseases, migraines
· Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperacidity, peptic ulcer, gastritis
· Asthma, vertigo, arthritis, piles, varicose veins, obesity, chronic fatigue etc.
· Urinary tract infection, kidney stones, hepatitis, gall stones
· Psychiatric illnesses: anxiety, depression, behavior disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc.
Men’s health problems:
· Benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostrate complains
· Erectile dysfunctions
· Fatigue, low libido, sleeplessness etc.
· Alcoholic health issues such as stomach and digestive problems, hepatitis and other liver diseases, high blood pressure etc.
· Menopause, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, scanty or excessive bleeding etc.
· Polycystic ovaries, uterine fibroids, vaginal discharge, vagina polyps, infertility etc.
· Various complains during pregnancy and after child birth, difficulty in breast feeding, mastitis, cracked nipples etc.
· Cough, cold, allergies, recurrent respiratory infections, asthma
· Ear pain, otitis media, recurrent tonsillitis, various skin complains
· Bed wetting, teething problems, colic, nappy rash, recurrent fever
· Behavioral problems, learning problems, attention deficit disorder, nightmares
· Epidemic diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox
Homeopathic medicines are reliable and effective in various acute health complains. Acute prescribing does not need lengthy case taking and the course is rapid.
Following are some examples of acute health complain where homeopathy is effectively used:
· Fever, cold, cough, flu, pneumonia, urinary infections, abdominal pain conjunctivitis, food poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, allergic reaction etc.
· In fact any acute inflammatory or infectious disease condition can be treated with homeopathy.
Homeopathy for first aid:
· Homeopathic medicines are helpful in preventing infection, pain relief and bleeding control.
· They act best in burns, nerve pains, bruises, sprains.
· They are used for fast healing of cuts and for fracture of bones.
· Homeopathic remedies are very easy to prescribe especially in sports injuries. They are usually very effective in reducing the pain of injury and speeding the healing process.
· Surgery can be essential in some situations as a means for preservation of life. Still many surgeries can be avoided with the use of Homeopathic remedies early in the course of disease. Homeopathic medicines arrest or slow down the disease process. So those patients suffering from chronic diseases, who receive proper Homeopathic treatment, need operations less frequently.
· Finally, if surgery is necessary, Homeopathy can help in managing surgical cases with pre and post-operative medicines.
· Homeopathic remedies also help to reduce fear, anxiety and nervousness prior to surgery.
· They served useful especially in people who are allergic to various conventional medicines.
· Homeopathic medicines prevent excess bleeding, swelling, pain, unsightly scar tissue and help to reduce the complications.
· These medicines promote healing and encourage a fast post-surgical recovery.
The following are some examples of surgical diseases which can be treated with Homeopathy:
Gall bladder Stones, Kidney Stones, Adenoids, Enlarged Lymph nodes, Enlarged Tonsils, Nasal Polyps, Anal Fissures, Anal Fistula, piles, BPH (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy), hydrocele, Inguinal Hernia, umbilical hernia, Warts, Condylomatas, Lump in breast (Fibroadenoma), Ovarian cysts, Uterine fibroid, Vaginal polyps, Abscess, Chronic Appendicitis, peptic ulcer, chronic gastritis, ulcerative colitis, Gangrene, Non healing Ulcers, Non toxic goiter, Thyroglossal cyst, various types of cysts, Tumors, Cancers and etc.
There are lots of other surgical conditions which come under the scope of Homeopathic medicines.
· Homeopathy is effective both in curing the diseases and for their prevention.
· Homeopathic medicines are commonly used for epidemic diseases of children like measles, chickenpox, rubella, mumps, etc.
· Homeopathy has proved very effective and reliable in epidemics of cholera, gastroenteritis, smallpox, meningitis, chicken guinea, Typhus, Influenza and many other febrile epidemic diseases.
The following are some worldwide examples where homeopathy has proved reliable and effective than conventional medicines:
· During the cholera epidemic of 1849 in Cincinnati, the survival rate was 40-52% for those treated conventionally, while homeopaths cured 97% of such patients. These results were published in the local newspapers.
· In an epidemic of Typhus in Leipzig, Germany (1813), Dr. Hahnemann treated 180 cases of Typhus, losing only two patients. Mortality rates for conventional treatment were over 30%.
· The worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 22 million people worldwide and 500,000 in the U.S. The death rate was 30% or higher for those treated conventionally, while homeopaths cured an amazing 98% of their cases.
Homeopathy for prevention:
· It is said that the only true prophylactic is good health. Homeopathic remedies work by strengthening the immune system. So resistance power against various diseases or disease organisms increases naturally with the use of homeopathic remedies.
· It is seen that those people who use Homeopathy for their health problems, fall sick less frequently and enjoy the feeling of well being physically as well as mentally.
· If taken early in course of disease, Homeopathic medicines can arrest the further progress of disease and prevent complications.
· Homeopathy has also proved invaluable in preventing epidemic diseases. During epidemic of chicken guinea, in India, it is seen that seen that those patients who received remedy in the initial phase, never developed arthritis or joint pains, whereas people who received conventional medicines suffered from joint pains or arthritis for several months.
The following are some worldwide examples where homeopathy proved effective for prevention:
· In 1957 polio epidemic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Homeopathic remedy Lathyrus was given to thousands of people. Not one case of polio was reported in these individuals.
· In 1974, during epidemic of meningococcal meningitis in Brazil, 18,640 children were given a Homeopathic remedy for prevention. Only 4 cases of meningitis occurred in these children.
· During smallpox epidemic of 1902 in Iowa USA, the Homeopathic remedy Variolinum was given preventively to 2,806 patients of 15 doctors. The protection rate was 97%.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Homeopathy is used by 500 million people worldwide, making it the second leading system of medicine for primary health care in the world. Over 30 million people in Europe use Homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy is covered by national health care systems in many countries including England, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Homeopathy is recommended by health care professionals worldwide.
In England, 42% of British physicians refer patients to Homeopaths. There are currently five Homeopathic hospitals, and the oldest, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, has been there for 100 years.
India has over 70,000 board certified Homeopathic physicians, hundreds of Homeopathic hospitals and clinics and many Homeopathic medical schools.
In united states, by 1900, about twenty percent of doctors were homeopaths, but due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the USA until recently.
Homeopathy is also practiced in Vienna, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Pakistan, Greece and Belgium.
Well known people who have used Homeopathy
The British Royal family: Since 1830, the Royal family has used Homeopathy for three generations. The family doctor to England's Queen Elizabeth is a homeopathic physician. Queen Elizabeth is patron of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital.
The other well known personalities: Mahatma Gandhi, Wm. James, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Daniel Webster, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Samuel F. Morse, John D. Rockefeller, etc.