What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy: healthy medicine
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Homeopathy has become a widely used form of medicine in the world today, because people are discovering the benefits of a system of medicine that is safe, effective and treats them as unique individuals.
Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine that treats mental, emotional and physical illness.
Homeopathic medicines are chosen to treat the whole person, because homeopaths believe the mind and body operate as one, and you cannot treat one part of the body without affecting the whole. Medicines are chosen to fit all the characteristics of the patient, so physical disorders are considered in relation to the individual's mental and emotional state.
Homeopathy is safe for people of all ages, from birth through to old age, and can be prescribed by a homeopath during pregnancy.
How homeopathy works
The word 'homeopathy' means similar suffering. It is based on a principle known as 'the law of similars' or 'like cures like'. This law states that a substance that can cause a disease can also relieve it. For example, coffee - or Coffea as it is known in Latin - is a stimulant that can cause temporary insomnia. Coffea may be used in minute potentised (i.e. homeopathic) doses to relieve that insomnia. Another example is that chopping onions can cause your nose and eyes to run with copious amounts of water. The onion - Allium cepa - can be used homeopathically to treat colds and hayfever where the main symptoms include runny eyes and nose.
The founding father of homeopathy
Over 200 years ago, the German doctor and chemist Samuel Hahnemann developed the system of medicine we now call homeopathy. He had a very clear and humane approach to the practice of medicine:
"The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles." (Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine)
How are remedies made?
Homeopathic medicines, known as remedies, are derived from plant, mineral and animal sources. It is the method of preparation which makes all homeopathic remedies safe, whatever their origin. They are non-toxic, do not cause side-effects, and you do not become addicted to them because the active ingredient is used in a specially prepared form leaving no trace to accumulate in the body's tissues. Remedies are usually given by mouth in the form of tablets or liquid, and the cost of remedies is usually included in the consultation fee. As with all medicines, remedies need to be stored safely and appropriately.
Homeopathic remedies have not been tested on animals. The remedies have been 'proved' by people who were well and healthy at the time of the proving of the particular remedy.