Homeopathy is a system of medicine founded by the celebrated physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) of Germany. It is based on the principle that ‘like cures like’. In practice, this means that a medicine capable of producing certain effects when taken by a healthy human being is capable of curing any illness that displays similar effects.
For example, if a healthy person takes a dose of Arsenic, he will develop vomiting, diarrhea of rice-water stools, a rapid pulse and prostration. His skin will become cold and his expression anxious. In smaller doses or when taken for a longer time, he will develop a running nose, heavy head, cough and bronchial catarrh. Even later there will be specific disturbances of skin and nerves. He will develop a burning sensation all over which is relieved by warmth, frequent thirst for sips of water, fear of death, restlessness and a worsening of symptoms at noon and midnight. According to Homeopathic law ‘like cures like’, countless patients displaying such symptoms have been cured by the Homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album, irrespective of the name of the disease (cholera, colds, eczema, asthma etc.).
This principle has also been mentioned by the ancient Indian poet Kavi-Kalidasa:
“Shruyate hi pura loke, vishasya visham aushadham”.
Translated this reads: “it has been said of old time in the world that poison is the remedy for poison.”
Hippocrate postulated this principle in the words, “Similia Similibus Curentur” (‘likes are cured by likes’).
The practice of Homeopathy is based on certain fundamental principles. Firstly, the remedies that are used are tested on human volunteers (provers) to elicit the symptoms they can produce. The symptoms of each remedy experienced by the provers are recorded in exact detail and they form the Homeopathic Materia Medica. The symptoms of the patient are then matched with the symptoms of the various remedies in the Materia Medica to find out a single remedy whose symptoms are most similar to those of the patient (like cures like).
Hahnemann’s scientific experiments led him to the process of potentization. A step-by- step dilution and jerking of the drug makes it extremely powerful and at the same time renders it harmless. This is in direct contrast to the toxic drugs of modern medicine, and their ‘side effects’. Potencies administered by the Homeopathy range from a mother tincture to the 1,00,000th potencies. The sixth potency will have a rough dilution of one drop of the original drug substance diluted in a lake full of water. Each potency is 100 times more dilute than the previous one. Imagine the 1,00,000th dilution!
No one has been able to satisfactorily explain how the remedies act when diluted to such fantastic limits. Yet, potencies are found to act very powerfully. It seems that in the process of potentization, stored up energy of the drug is liberated.
The practice of homeopathy convinces the physician to regard the body as more than a sum of its parts. Unlike a machine, it develops, carries on its function and repairs itself independently. In this sense, everyone carries within him his own doctor. Ancient physicians were familiar with this natural power of the organism to control disease and they invented for it a beautiful expression ‘Vis Medicatrix Nature’ (Healing power of Nature). This healing power is a function of the life force itself. Hahnemann called it Vital Force. Disease is recognized as a disturbance of this vital force. For example, out of ten people who get wet in the rain, only one developed pneumonia. Most bacteria can affect us only when our own healing power is of low resistance. Homeopathic medicine aims to correct this disturbed vital force and thus enhances the power of the body to heal itself. It does not aim at removing the symptoms of the parts affected, but treats the cause and restores to health. According to Homeopathy, symptoms are a reflection of disturbed vital force.
Sickness is like a sitar whose correct tuning has been disturbed. Naturally, all the notes from such a sitar will be far more melodious. There is no use trying to correct the individual notes. It is the disturbance in the tuning itself which has to be corrected.
Another fundamental principle of Homeopathy is that it treats the patient as a whole and as an individual. There is no medicine for any particular disease, but there is a medicine for the patient suffering from the disease. ‘the individual, not the disease is the entity’ said the celebrated Sir William Osler.
The homeopath takes into consideration all the symtoms, that distinguish a person as an individual. Even a salesman of ready-made suits must try to fit the ready-made suit. The homeopathy enquires into the details of the patients past and family history, his appetite, thirst, bowel habits, sleep, etc. and most importantly about his temperament.
It is being increasingly acknowledged these days that the mind and body are inter-linked. We now see the rapid rise of holistic concept of disease with an emphasis on its psychosomatic aspect. Hahnemann recognized all this long ago, and stressed that bodily and mental symptoms are to be taken together to form the portrait of disease. The Homeopathic material medica is rich in mental symptoms and we especially use them in selection of remedy.
The present problem of the patient is not usually an isolated occurrence. It is a part of a sequence. The family history and the events through childhood are taken into account as homeopathy treats not only the present symptoms, but the entire sequence, thereby preventing the progress of disease. Children under homeopathic treatment grow into more healthy adults, they find relief from the scourge of bad inheritance as well.
It has been said that child is father of the man. Thus, even in an infant, we can perceive the beginnings of future illness. The infant may perspire so much about its head during sleep as to soak a pillow. Perhaps the fontanelles are slow in closing. The child may be slow in walking and teething and develop the habit of eating mud and chalk. She looks fat, but there is no strength. She may develop enlarged tonsils. She catches colds very often and each cold further enlarges the tonsils. The menses occur too soon and are profuse. She feels cold all the time and lacks energy. Slowly a cough begins and there is the faintest trace of fever. There is a desire for cold milk and eggs. The cough further worsens and the evening fever becomes well marked, the X-ray shows tuberculosis.
One can see that TB did not appear all at once; it has evolved from childhood. The signs of ill health were all there. They indicate the homeopathic medicine Calcarea carbonica. Had this remedy been given in infancy, the girl would not have developed the later troubles. But it is never too late. Even now Homeopathy will build up her health. In this way many a problem child has been helped to normalcy by homeopathy.
A good homeopathy learns t perceive disease as a continually evolving process which begins in the womb and unless arrested and cured, end in the tomb. There are many measures to palliate and ease the patient, but the journey continues unless treated on homeopathic principles.
In fact, most, if not all curative therapies (including some forms of psychotherapy, meditation, etc. ) are (consciously or unconsciously) based on the “Similie” principle. The homeopath applies this principle scientifically and systematically using carefully tested medicines.
Sometimes in the course of homeopathic treatment, the history of past illness appears briefly in the reverse order, like a film being played backwards. When this happens, we know that not only the present, but also its cause in the past has been treated and the future is secure.
To a homeopath, the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medicine, surgery and gynaecology is necessary since he has to examine the patient and come to a diagnosis. This will help him to know the natural course of the ailment and to manage the case well.
But his most important task is to understand the individuality of each patient fully and correctly, so that he may select the right remedy.
The process of potentisation brings out the latent medicinal energy in those substances. By virtue of this process anything from sand (Silica) to moon light (Luna) can be used as medicine in homeopathy. The medicines are derived from following sources:
Aconite Napellus (Monkshood)
Belladonna Atropa (Deadly Nightshade)
Bryonia Alba (White Bryony)
Lycopodium (Club Moss)
Calcarea Carb (Calcium Carbonate)
Natrum-Muriaticum (Common Salt)
HEALTHY TISSUE, IMPONDERABLES & SECRETIONS (SARCODES)
Why Does Homeopathy take a Long Time?
It is a myth that homeopathy is slow acting. Most of the times what happens is the patient comes to us with long history of chronic illness. Therefore the treatment takes time. Homeopathy is in fact fast acting in acute conditions such as fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, etc.
Do Homeopathic Medicines Have Side Effects?
Our medicines are energy. They are prepared by serial dilutions and contain no material substance in them. Hence, no side effects.
Why Should There Be A Gap Before And After The Intake Of The Medicine?
You have to keep the medicine on the tongue so that it comes in contact with the nerves. That is the reason why we say not to eat anything half an hour before or after. So that the tongue has nothing else that will interfere with the absorption of the medicine.
Can Homeopathy Aggravate Your Problems?
Rarely after the homeopathic treatment is given there can be increase in your complaints. There can be two reasons for this. First and the more common reason can be the stopping of pain killers or ointment applications which may have kept your symptoms suppressed for a long time and due to removal of that factor, the complaints will be experienced in its actual intensity. In that case, homeopathic medicine will gradually bring the whole thing under control.
Another possibility is that after the homeopathic treatment there is slight and short worsening followed by rapid relief. This initial worsening is often the reaction of our body before the cure occurs and is a very good sign.
Another reaction that may be noticed during the course of homeopathic treatment is that your original problems will get better gradually and then some new symptoms may appear. These new problems may indicate that we need to change your medicine and give you something that will cover this new picture and thereby help you in achieving a holistic cure.
Why Do We Do If The Complaints Recur After Stopping Homeopathic Treatment And Can It Be Cured?
During the course of homeopathic treatment or after it has been stopped if something happens in your day today life at mental or physical level to upset the balance created in your system by the homeopathic medicine the original complaint can be felt again. But it is true that with homeopathic treatment, the capacity of the person to handle such upset improved and relapses may not occur.
What Do We Need To Tell You In A Follow-Up?
First and foremost, you need to tell us how you feel in your chief complaint and associated complaint. Here it is very important that while reporting a chief complaint, it is better you also mention the new problems or if you have suffered from the same problem in the past because they indicate that we need to change your medicine/potency. Do mention about your temperament, desires, sleep, dreams and appetite. In mental sphere, we need to know if anything had happened to upset you at home or at your work place, like any quarrel, or some bad news etc. All these symptoms when told in detail, help us to treat you better.
Do We Have Different Medicines For Different Complaints?
In homeopathy we do not have separate medicine for head, nose, ears, throat, etc. We give one single medicine which affects the patient as a whole and removes all his troubles. There is no medicine for any particular disease but there is medicine for the patient who is suffering from the disease. A single remedy is chosen on the basis of holistic approach which treats different complaints of the same person etc.
How Frequently, Do We Need To See The Doctor During The Course Of Treatment?
For chronic complaints one should report to the doctor only after a month but in any acute conditions/emergency, one should get in touch with the doctor immediately.
Can Homeopathy And Other System Of Medicine (Ayurveda / Allopathy) Be Taken Together?
We do not advocate the use of Ayurveda and homeopathy together because both are holistic medicine. Therefore, if you take two together, we don’t know how to evaluate your progress. We will not come to know with which system you are better. Same with the case of allopathy. Also these conventional medicines change the symptoms to such an extent that their original presentation of the symptom is lost, making it difficult to gather enough accurate information to prescribe the correct homeopathic remedy. The symptoms are the compass that a homeopath uses to find his way to the right remedy. If you were to take conventional medication to treat symptoms after beginning homeopathic treatment, you could stop the action of the remedy, rendering it ineffective. Most of the acute conditions are handled well with homeopathy but in some exceptional conditions, we do advice the patient to take allopathic treatment.
Can Diabetic Patients Take Sweet Sugar Pills?
The amount of sugar present is negligible for it to affect diabetics.