What is Homeopathy?
The term homeopathy is derived from the Greek words homeos, meaning “similar,” and pathos, meaning “suffering.” Homeopathy: a natural form of therapeutic information. The efficacy of homeopathy has been demonstrated for over 150 years. Homeopathic medicines are derived from a wide variety of plant, mineral, and chemical substances. They are prepared according to standards of the U.S. Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, a revised version of which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Congress (Lange).
Over the past 50 years, there has been a substantial increase in the use of homeopathy. According to research, in the U.S. where, in 2002, it was estimated that the number of patients using homeopathic remedies had risen by 500% in the previous seven years, mostly by purchasing over-the-counter remedies. In the U.S. patients seen by homeopaths tended to be more affluent, more frequently white, present more subjective symptoms, and to be younger than patients seen by conventional physicians (Loudon). Patients are interested in finding a more tailored, customized approach to their health care which is not one dimensional.
This principle was first recognized by Hippocrates, who noticed that herbs given in low doses tended to cure the same symptoms they produced when given in toxic doses (Lange). The system of homeopathy was developed in Germany in the 1700’s by Samuel Hahnemann. In his struggles to make a living as a physician he conducted experiments and started to take regular doses of cinchona or ‘the bark’ (i.e. quinine) which, he said, produced all the symptoms of intermittent fever (malaria) but to a mild degree and without the characteristic symptoms of that disease. Hahnemann published his idea in 1796 as Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Power of Drugs, which was followed in 1810 by his famous work The Organon of the Healing Art (Gevitz).
What is Homeopathy?
Through a process, Hahnemann called “proving” Hahnemann compile an array of appropriate remedies. He believed that if a patient was ill, they could be cured by giving a medicine which would produce similar symptoms in a healthier person, but to a lesser degree. In this technique, a solution containing a medicinal substance is diluted past the point of there being any material substance left within. The solution is then used as a remedy and led to his famous saying, “like cures like” which is also called the “principle of similars.”
From the very beginning, the practice of homeopathy always began with at least an hour-long consultation where patients discussed their lives, including their current ailment, medical condition, and past history. In sum, homeopathy is a natural form of therapeutic information which is based on the belief that the body can heal itself . It is truly a customized approached. Many patients like to set goals with their N.D. and work towards achieving those goals. To find an N.D. go to NHAND.ORG.
Lange, Andrew, ND, and Susan Ann Gaylord PhD, in Textbook of Natural Medicine (Fifth Edition), 2020