What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy (hominion - similar, pathos - disease) is a form of holistic regulatory therapy. Natural remedies are used to stimulate and/or re-tune the body’s innate subtle energy, known as the vital force. The vital force is thought to regulate the body’s many physiological operations. When the vital force is not “in tune,” disease symptoms result.
Homeopathy has three main principles: the Law of Similars, individual disease pictures, and testing on healthy human subjects.
The Law of Similars, similia similibus curentur, is often translated as “like cures like.” The homeopathic physician prescribes to the sick person a highly-diluted natural substance that, in its undiluted state, can provoke the same symptoms of illness in a healthy person. As an example, Apis mellifica is a homeopathic remedy made from whole honeybees. Undiluted bee venom causes pain, redness, swelling, and itching, or, in severe cases, an anaphylactic reaction. A remedy made from a homeopathic dilution of honeybees will, on the other hand, alleviate the aforementioned symptoms of a bee sting. It will also ameliorate other conditions with bee-sting-like symptoms, such as insect bites, acute allergic reactions, acute nephritis, ear infections, etc.
Individual disease picture recognizes that every patient is a whole and unique being. Treatment is personalized for each patient based on his or her particular clinical disease symptoms and individual characteristics. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, genetic makeup (or constitution), family history, life style, eating habits, stress level, and environment. Individualized treatment helps to achieve the best results in the shortest period of time, without any complications or side effects.
All homeopathic remedies are tested only on healthy human subjects, as a sick person would already have symptoms of illness and the test results would be inaccurate. All symptoms produced in healthy subjects by the test substance are thoroughly documented for each homeopathic remedy. Currently, there are more than 3000 homeopathic remedies available.
Homeopathy emerged as a unique healing modality in 1798, when Samuel Hahnemann, a brilliant German physician, chemist, and linguist, formulated homeopathy’s main principles of cure. These principles instituted a new era in the history of medicine and still comprise the cornerstone of this healing art today. Hahnemann bequeathed to those following him an invaluable legacy of fundamental works, among them The Organon of the Medical Art and Chronic Diseases. These and other writings of Hahnemann’s have become a beacon for many practitioners around the world.
For many years homeopathy was relegated to the outskirts of medicine, possibly because of a lack of understanding of its principles. The history and work of many homeopathic practitioners of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Constantine Hering, Ernst Farrington, James Tyler Kent, Catherine Coulter, Gerhard Koehler, and Leon Vannier), have shown homeopathy to be one of the safest, most gentle, yet at the same time effective, therapies. Despite this, over the last fifty years homeopathy has been nearly forgotten.
Homeopathy at the present time
Today, public recognition of homeopathy is on the rise. More than a few mainstream medical doctors have devoted their practices to this alternative healing science. Homeopathy enjoys widespread popularity throughout North and South America, India, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
As awareness of such concepts as wellness and prevention increase, more and more people are seeking alternatives to mainstream drug therapy and surgery. Belief in a single “magic” bullet or pill to resolve all health problems is waning, especially in light of the fact that prescription drugs have potentially damaging and/or life-threatening side effects. Homeopathy and other natural modalities that have been saving lives and restoring health for centuries can provide safe and effective solutions to the health dilemmas people face.