Homeopathy: A Short Introduction

It's hard to get through a half hour program on television without hearing an advertisement for a new drug and the at times ominous sounding list of side effects that are worse than the ailment that said drug is purporting to alleviate. With lawsuits and recalls a daily occurrence and doctors often at the mercy of the prescription salesperson for information more and more people and wanting to seek out alternative medicines for everyday ailments.  

Homeopathy for complicated conditions and diseases will certainly require a visit or two to a trained practitioner of this alternative therapy, but the average person can learn enough about the principles of homeopathy to effectively use this treatment modality for simple actue or general chronic ailments.  

Homeopathy works on the principle of like cures like. A German physician, Saumel Hahnemann, developed this system in the 1800s.  He found that if a person suffered from the same symptoms that would occur in a healthy person when they ingested a particular substance, be it mineral, animal or plant, then that same substance would cure the sick person. The actual amount of the substance that remains once a remedy has been made through a series of dilutions and shakings called successions is so minute it can no longer be measured.  There have not been a lot of funded studies completed on homeopathy which could be due to the fact it is not a money maker for the pharmaceutical industry. Some people question the efficacy of the medicine, however practitioners believe the nano particles that remain are enough to encourage the body to heal itself. Those who have been treating homeopathically have witnessed its effectiveness time and time again and swear by its gentle healing nature. 

Homeopathy is particularly useful for pets and children. Because it is so very dilute, it is extremely safe. Combination remedies are readily available from brands such as Boiron, Hylands and Heel. Typically found online or in health food stores, these remedies, bearing the seal of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States, offer typical combinations of likely remedies for ailments such as teething, irritability, anxiousness, back aches, headaches, sinus problems, fevers, nausea, difficulty sleeping or other common problems. Regular drugstores usually carry homeopathic ointments for sore and achy muscles or itchy skin. 

It's always best to consult a healthcare practitioner while trying to investigate and treat a health ailment. Homeopathy is often recommended by alternative practitioners and occasionally used by integrative medical doctors. Investing in a basic book on homeopathy which discusses the method for finding the appropriate remedy and discussing the theory and practice behind modern day homeopathy could be as useful as the family first aid kit. In fact, several homeopathy websites, including Washington Homeopathic Products, offer a family kit of the 50-100 most commonly used remedies in potencies for acute conditions. Once you get the hang of figuring out which remedy responds best in which situation, choosing the right remedy can be as simple as choosing whether or not to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  

The National Center for Homeopathy offers articles and information for further understanding and integrating homeopathy into your life.  

References:  http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org



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