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Homeopathic Medicine HOL-emblem1-web.GIF (3556 bytes)

Introduction

Homeopathy is based on the principle that substances that are poisonous in large doses can be very beneficial in small doses. Homeopathy is a form of medicine that treats the body as a whole and helps it to heal itself. It can be used for the short term (acute) illnesses and long term (chronic) illnesses. The objective is to prevent the patient from getting the illnesses again (prevention). The name homeopathy comes from the Greek word "homios" which means "like" and the word "pathos" meaning "suffering". Thus homeopathy simply means treating like with like.

In the fourth century B.C., Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, observed that large amount of certain natural substances can produce symptoms in healthy people resembling those caused by the disease, while smaller doses of these same substances can relieve those symptoms. in 1790's Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, amplified this concept and proposed the practice called homeopathy. He proposed that "Let like be cured by like". Homeopathy uses animal, vegetable and mineral preparations to cure a person's illness. Millions of people in Britain, Europe and America uses Homeopathy.

Homeopathy looks at each patient and develops a remedy or treatment plan strictly for him or her. It invokes the powers of healing inherent in individuals (our immune system) to develop a successful therapy. The more one knows about the patient, the symptoms, likes and dislikes, what makes them better or worse, it helps in developing a "symptom picture" of the patient that can lead to a successful treatment.

If we think about the principle of homeopathy, it has a lot in common with our present understanding of immunizations. To prevent us from catching small pox, a vaccine is prepared which is a mild form of the virus that causes the disease. The principle is that introduction of this small amount of the virus in our body system will set out our body's defenses so that when the actual virus shows up, our body will have enough barriers or fighting power to prevent the virus from entering our body. Homeopathy practitioners believe that when we introduce a very very small amount of the deadly material into the body, our body will unleash enough defenses to prevent the disease from recurring again. However, there are significant differences between the concepts used in Western medicine and those of homeopathy. Vaccines are not rendered more potent when they are diluted like homeopathic preparations. In conventional treatment, there is a minimum dosage that need to be given before the medication becomes effective in treating the underlying problem. For example, when taking antibiotics, we have to take the whole course at regular intervals to maintain a potency level in the bloodstream to kill the bacteria.

Homeopathic remedies, which are made from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral substances, are recognized and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are manufactured by established pharmaceutical companies under strict guidelines. There are over 2000 homeopathic remedies that are usually referred to by their abbreviated name. (For example Arg nit. stands for Argentum nitricum). These are derived from such exotic sources as bee stings, snake venoms, arsenic, gold and silica, and even compounds from diseases tissue. Homeopaths also prescribes tissue salts. Tissue salts are prepared from mineral sources. Homeopathic remedies are diluted to such an extent that there can be no possible side effects from even the most toxic substances. The dilution process is known as 'potentation' Taken in this ultra diluted form, Homeopathic remedies have no side effects and are perfectly safe, non-toxic and non-addictive.

Next Topic: Abbreviations Used By Homeopaths and How Homeopathic Medicines are Prepared

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