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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Casey

What is Homoeopathy?

Let us begin with where the word homoeopathy comes from and then take a look at a definition of the word…

1. The founding father of Homoeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, coined the term, homoeopathy, from Greek words for 'similar suffering' which are homoes and pathos, and which relates to the term 'like cures like' which is one of the principles of healing.  Homeopathy is founded upon science and there is research available to those who would take the time to read it, however its application is deemed an art.

2. I suggest that Homoeopathic medicine is founded upon the ancient principles, ethics and wisdom as developed by Hippocrates (a link below asks the question 'Was Hippocrates a Homoeopath?) and then much later developed by Dr Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago.  Back in the day of Dr Hahnemann the physicians prescribed quite toxic treatments and by contrast homeopathy was and remains so dilute that they are safe. 

Shunned by many in conventional medicine of his time and still today shunned. However it is interesting that the British Royal Family, in particular the monarch of the time, has a homoeopath in their employ and is said to take a black box of remedies with her wherever she goes. The placebo affect is another issue that is often referred to however this would suggest the power is in the belief around the remedy or treatment – if this is so then it could be that we simply address our beliefs and then we won’t require medicine but this is simply silly as there are times when conventional medicine is absolutely necessary.

3. Homoeopathy is also a holistic and system of natural medicine; the homoeopathic doctor or practitioner will take a full and complete history of their patient that is different to that of a conventional medical practitioner.

A conventional medical practitioner often is limited to a few minutes with a patient; they will look at one symptom such as back pain, tummy pain, or sore eyes or a headache. There can be simple solutions to these problems such as back pain could be a sign of kidney infection and plenty fluids can help to clear this up but if there are other symptoms then further treatment can be provided however over use of anti-biotics can pose further problems.

A homoeopathic doctor/practitioner will provide time to their patient, around an hour for their first consultation. They will take a full history of the person as they recognise the person is more than a back pain, tummy pain, sore eyes or a headache. This consultation includes how the person is feeling, what has been going on in their daily lives, what irritates and what soothes the patient as these help to indicate the most suitable remedy for the suffering.

In acute states there can be a very direct application of homoeopathy such as after major surgery to the abdomen and the pelvic organs such as the uterus and can lead to use of hypericum, arnica, staphysagria and Nux vomica which all aid relief of post-surgical healing. The flower remedies, which are based upon the homoeopathic method, are also useful in pre and post-surgical care and my own experience lent to the use of a blend which incorporated bluebell and helped with a sense of positivity which aids recovery.

4. Homoeopathy is also a system of medicine that uses natural material, processed in a manner than renders the substance harmless yet potentised to give maximum yet gentle affect. The homoeopathic system is founded upon minimum and single dosing. The high dilution renders the product safe and so eliminates the risk of harm.

By contrast most conventional medicines are synthetic chemical compounds and side effects are an accepted component of them. Conventional medicine also accepts that their medicines and treatments will have a ‘kill rate’ for example in surgical procedure a patient could die from anaesthetic or blood loss and medications such as blood thinners can lead to severe bruising, bleeding and complications requiring immediate emergency care. There are many medicines that incorporate natural substances such as mint in stomach preparations and Senna in constipation relief medicines.

It is interesting to note that there is an area of homoeopathy that conventional medicine has taken as its own. This is the world of vaccines in homoeopathy they are known as nosodes. Vaccines are also based upon tiny amounts of pathogenic material being held in a medium and then used to promote immunity. Many people do have issues with vaccination as the medium in which the pathogenic material is contained is made up of heavy metals and other material believed to be toxic.

In the world of homoeopathy Dr Edward Bach, a UK western trained physician, researched and developed vaccines in 1919. He had survived the Spanish flu pandemic and the treatments and precautions utilised at the time proved of little benefit. In 1929 Dr Bach left conventional medicine and moved onto develop the flower remedy system.

My own perspective on both homoeopathic and conventional medicine is that both can complement each other, that in some instances homoeopathy could replace conventional medicine and to always retain an open mind as this way a person can benefit from the two worlds of medicine. I am also very lucky my own medical GP is a qualified and practicing homoeopath and when I do require medical care I can discuss the option of something else.

5. So in a nutshell homoeopathy is a holistic, alternative and natural system of medicine that is founded and developed, upon and from, ancient wisdom by qualified physicians. This is a method that can be used very easily along with contemporary medicine and medical practices. It can at times replace conventional medicine and be used without side effects however if the wrong remedy is used there may be no symptom improvement or there could be a ‘proving’. Thorough education and training can ensure that the right remedy, at the right potency, at the right frequency is identified and provided.

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