The word homeopathy is derived from two Greek words: homoios meaning similar, and pathos meaning suffering. Homeopathy’s basic premise, the principle of similar, refers to the observation and experience that whatever set of symptoms a substance causes in overdose in healthy people will create a healing response when given in specially prepared nanodoses (very small doses) to people whose disease has this similar set of symptoms.
Example: exposure to an onion’s juices is known to cause tears from the eyes and fluid nasal discharge that may even burn the upper lip. People with allergies or common cold symptoms who exhibit these and other similar symptoms that onion causes will benefit from taking homeopathic doses of an onion.
Treating syndromes, not diseases
Homeopathic medicine treats the person as a whole, rather than treating specific diseases. This holistic approach is one of the main differences between homeopathy and conventional medicine. For example, if you are suffering from anxiety, arthritis and a skin condition the conventional route might involve three separate courses of treatment from three different specialists; by contrast a homeopath would consider all of these symptoms to be linked and therefore threat them as a whole, possibly with one prescription.
For some 200 years, hundreds of thousands of homeopaths throughout the world have carefully catalogued (and now computerized) the idiosyncratic physical, emotional and mental symptoms that thousands of substances have caused in healthy people. Homeopaths have thereby created the most extensive body of toxicological information available today, though this information focuses on the symptoms that these substances cause, not on the doses in which they cause them.
Thousands of substances have undergone toxicological studies, which homeopaths call provings. These experiments are conducted on human subjects, not animals, to determine what set of symptoms various substances from the plant, mineral, animal, or chemical kingdoms cause in overdose, and thus, what affinity each substance has to the human body. This is medicine at its most complex and precise.
Cholera Epidemic 1854 – London
A historically important epidemic – it was the first time a disease outbreak was traced to a particular source – in a public water pump. The pump was closed and the epidemic ceased. All in all 10,738 people died. The House of Commons requested a report regarding the various methods of treating the epidemic. When the report was issued, no homeopathic figures were included. The House of Lords requested and explanation, and it was admitted that if the homeopathic figures were to be in included in the report, it would “skew the results” so it was suppressed. Upon examination, the buried report revealed that under conventional care the mortality was 59.2% while under homeopathic care mortality was only 9%.
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Although no one knows precisely how homeopathic medicines initiate the healing process, we have more than 200 years of evidence from hundreds of thousands of clinicians and tens of millions of patients that these medicines have powerful effects. One cannot help but anticipate the veritable treasure trove of knowledge that further research in homeopathy and nanopharmacology will bring. Quantum physics does not disprove Newtonian physics; quantum physics simply extends our understanding of extremely small and extremely large systems. Likewise, homeopathy does not disprove conventional pharmacology; instead, it extends our understanding of extremely small doses of medicinal agents. Homeopaths continue to refine this system of nanopharmacology.
How can homeopathic medicines work?
The original substance is diluted, and then shaken vigorously (succussed). The number of times this is repeated determines the strength or potency of the remedy e.g. a 6c remedy will have been diluted 1 part in 100 then succussed six times. The fact that homeopathic medicines are so highly diluted has led some skeptics to say that they are nothing but water. Research suggests that succussion imprints information from the original substance into the water it is dissolved in. Homeopathic medicine presents a significantly different pharmacological approach to treating sick people. Instead of using strong and powerful doses of medicinal agents that have a broad-spectrum effect on a wide variety of people with a similar disease, homeopaths use extremely small doses of medicinal substances that are highly individualized to a person’s syndrome of disease. Homeopathic medicines are so small in dose that it is appropriate to refer to them as a part of the newly defined field of nanopharmacology. More than 200 years of experience have shown that the more a substance is potentized, the more powerful the medicine becomes, the longer it acts, and the fewer doses are generally needed. In this light, homeopaths assert that their medicines are not simply extremely small doses. Instead, they affirm that the double-distilled water is changed and becomes imprinted and activated.
If you chemically analyzed and compared a blank CD with a CD containing 1,000 books or 1,000 songs, both CDs would be composed of the same chemistry. A CD may have information encoded on it that cannot be differentiated by chemistry. Likewise, water is a medium that becomes encoded with the medicines and its structure changed, even though normal chemical analysis of the water in which homeopathic medicines are made will not find obvious differences.
The principle of similars can be understood in light of the physics of music. For example, whenever a C note is played on a piano (or any instrument), all C notes reverberate, while other notes are not affected at all. The important observation here is that hypersensitivity exists where there is resonance. Ultimately, homeopathy is a medical system based on resonance.
Popularity of Homeopathy
Homeopathic medicine is widely practiced by physicians in Europe. Approximately 30% of French doctors and 20% of German doctors use homeopathic medicines regularly, while more than 40% of British physicians refer patients to homeopathic doctors (Fisher and Ward, 1994), and almost half of Dutch physicians consider homeopathic medicines to be effective. In late 2011, the Swiss government’s report on homeopathic medicine represents the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathic medicine ever written by a government. This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost effective and that Switzerland’s national health insurance companies should reimburse homeopathic treatment. The Swiss government has a long and widely respected history of neutrality and democracy and therefore, their reports need to be taken more seriously than from other countries that are more strongly influenced by present economic and political constituencies. When one considers that 2 of the top 5 largest drug companies have their headquarters in Switzerland, one might assume that this country would have a heavy bias and interest toward conventional medicine!
“I believe what prevents men from accepting the homeopathic principles is ignorance, but ignorance is criminal when human lives are at stake. No honest man faced with the facts of homeopathy can refuse to accept it. He has no choice. When I had to face it, I had become a follower. There was no choice if I were to continue to be an honest man… truth always demands adherence and offers no alternative.”
Sir John Weir, physician to six monarchs, including four generations of British monarchs
References: S. Hahnemann, SOH, D.Ullman