Homeopathy is a system of complementary medicine in which the complaints are treated with a single and minimal dosage without side effects by the use of natural substances. It is a holistic system of medicine prepared with highly diluted substances which helps increase the body's healing mechanisms.
A homeopath will prescribe medicines depending on the totality of the symptoms. It is peculiar to homeopathy. The totality of symptoms means the doctor is not concerned only about the disease, but also about the total personality of the patient.
The totality of symptoms includes the complete set of emotional, mental and physical manifestations of an individual's illness.
What Is the History of Homeopathy?
Homeopathy was invented by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, who was looking for ways to reduce the damaging side effects of medical treatments and other dangerous procedures.
The primary principle is "similia similibus curantur." This means the substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in a healthy person would cure similar symptoms in sick people.
What Is the Concept Behind Homeopathy?
Hahnemann was translating the Scottish physician William Cullen's Materia Medica to German. According to Cullen's theory, Cinchona can be used for curing malaria and also to produce malaria-like symptoms (by consuming cinchona bark decoction). Hahnemann wanted to test the theory himself. So, he consumed cinchona bark decoction and experienced fever, joint pains, and symptoms similar to those of malaria. From this, Hahnemann realized that all effective drugs produce symptoms in healthy persons similar to those of the disease that they treat. This is called proving.
Hahnemann then began to test the effects of different substances on healthy human beings. This procedure is called homeopathic provings. He thus published a collection of provings as Materia Medica Pura.
He found that large doses of drug substances causing similar symptoms would increase illness. For the function of a cell, tissue or organ, there is a need for a force which is known as a vital force. This is an invisible force. Whenever this vital force is altered, the changes occur in the function of the normal cell, tissue or organ.
Hahnemann believed that the underlying cause of disease, termed as miasms, are the dynamics which alter the normal state of healthy human beings.
Homeopathic medicines are made from nanoparticles of small quantities of substances extracted from plants, animals or minerals. They are quantitatively decreased and qualitatively increased.
What Are the Conditions Curable by Homeopathy?
Some of the conditions that are curable through homeopathic remedies are:
Depression and anxiety.
Chronic fatigue syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome.
High blood pressure.
Certain homeopathy doctors even claim that homeopathic medicines can cure malaria, but there is no ample evidence to prove the subject.
Is Homeopathy a Placebo?
It is the biggest topic of discussion even today. Though homeopathy has been present in this world for more than 100 years, it still gives out an impression to few that it is a placebo. Placebo means a fake treatment with medications. These medications do not produce any effect on the patient but the patient tends to recover from a condition due to the working of the mind and body. When the mind thinks a particular medicine is going to work (even though the medicine is not capable of it), the body will produce reactions similar to what the medicine can do.
Conception of homeopathy as a placebo results from inadequate scientific evidence on its working principle compared to allopathic medicine. Though a few studies have proven homeopathy’s efficiency, it is going to take some time to accept its ways completely. As a matter of fact, homeopathy is the second most accepted medicine next to allopathy in India and approximately 10 % of the Indian population is using homeopathy to heal various conditions.
Even during the deadly pandemic, COVID -19, several Government health bodies of India suggested the use of homeopathy medicines to cure the infection. The recommended medicine was Arsenicum Album 30 C as a prophylactic measure and to treat inflammation in affected individuals. Arsenicum Album is prepared by heating arsenic in distilled water several times over three days. Though prolonged use of water containing arsenic has side-effects like skin cancer and cardiovascular diseases, homeopathy doctors have suggested that only 1 % of arsenic is present in the medicine. Though it is still a topic of discussion, it was widely used during the second wave of COVID-19 in India. A lot of studies are happening all around the world, to find the effectiveness of homeopathy against COVID.
How Safe Is It to Take Homeopathy Medicines?
Almost all the homeopathic medicines are in diluted form, thus it does not produce any major side-effects. But few people can present with skin rashes during the beginning stages of the treatment, which will subside in some time. Homeopathy medicines can contain larger amounts of heavy metal as an active ingredient, which can become dangerous.
Also, since much research has not been carried out to evaluate the interference of homeopathy with the allopathy, it is better to inform the general practitioner if one is taking allopathy or a homeopathy medicine, and wants to take a different medicine for some condition.
Though the original format of homeopathy medicines does not contain steroids, certain self-steering practitioners are found to use steroids in the homeopathy medicines, which has to be stopped and eradicated immediately.
From being called an alternative system of medicine, homeopathy has become the primary healthcare and a complementary system of medicine. Homeopathy is the safest system of medicine to cure diseases, since it has not been found to cause any major side-effects. Most of the population are trying homeopathic medicine to heal conditions and many have found it fruitful. But the confusion surrounding the concept of homeopathy is creating a drift which can be easily addressed if the ongoing research about the effectiveness of homeopathy comes to light.
Frequently Asked Questions