Oftentimes, people prefer natural treatments to conventional drugs or surgery, as some are anxious about various drug's side effects and others have concerns regarding the continued use of certain drugs.
Homeopathy is a medicinal system that involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing.
Homeopathic remedies seek to fuel the body's own healing mechanisms.
Homeopaths believe that any physical disease has a mental and emotional component. As such, a homeopathic diagnosis involves an analysis of physical symptoms (e.g., pain, fever), as well as the patient’s emotional and psychological state (e.g., anxiety, restlessness).
In addition, those who practice homeopathic medicine pay great attention to the patient' s constitution, which includes character traits such as creativity, intuitiveness, persistence, concentration and both physical and emotional stamina.
The appropriate homeopathic remedy takes all of these aspects into account. Therefore, individuality is the hallmark of homeopathic medicine, as diagnosis and remedy is uniquely personalized.
Homeopathy has been becoming more widely used worldwide for over 200 years. Homeopathy was pioneered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who was shocked by many of the medical practices and treatments of the day, such as bloodletting and using poisons such as arsenic and mercury.
Dr. Hahnemann looked for a way to reduce the harmful side effects associated with these practices. Dr. Hahnemann found that giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses reduced toxicity, ultimately learning that the medicines appeared to be more effective the lower the dose.
Hahnemann is also considered to be a medical pioneer who worked tirelessly to improve medical science, reiterating that medicines be tested before use on patients.
Scientific evidence is mixed about the illnesses and conditions that respond well to homeopathic medicine. More controlled research is needed, as homeopathy appeared to be no better than placebo in some studies.
In other clinical studies, however, researchers believed they saw benefits from homeopathy. Preliminary research findings suggest that homeopathy may be helpful in treating childhood diarrhea, ear infection, asthma, allergies, colds and the flu, as well as symptoms of menopause (e.g., hot flashes, pain).
Some professional homeopaths specialize in treating grave illnesses (e.g., cancer, mental illness and autoimmune diseases) with homeopathic medicine. Whatever the case, be sure to communicate to your health care providers about the different therapies you are using (including homeopathic remedies), especially when it comes to life-threatening illnesses.
Why Should Anyone Go To a Homeopathic Doctor? Web. www.emaxhealth.com. Accessed 30 Jan. 2012.
Naturopathic Medicine. Web. www.emaxhealth.com. Accessed 30 Jan. 2012. http://www.naturopathic.org
What is Homeopathy? Web. www.umm.edu. Accessed 30 Jan. 2012. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/homeopathy-000352.htm
Reviewed February 2, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited By Jessica Obert