Homeopathy A Closer Look
Homeopathy is a system for treating disease, which operates by administering small doses of a drug, which if administered in far larger quantities would produce symptoms of the disease itself in a healthy person. Homeopathy can track its history back to a German chemist & doctor called Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who developed the system of medicine. The name is derived from the Greek ‘homoios’ meaning ‘similar’ & ‘pathos’ meaning ‘disease’ or ‘suffering’.
Dr Hahnemann first discovered that the Cinchona bark, which was used at the time to treat fevers, also had the ability to cause fevers. It was this discovery, which got him thinking & led to his testing of a variety of substances & the effects on the human body. To this day compounds are still tested on human & not animals.
Early on Dr Hahnemann understood that a number of substance were too toxic to directly administer even in small doses, so he developed a process of successive dilution called ‘potentization’ (derived from the German ‘potenziert’).
This ‘watering down’ or dilution produces a solution that contains a minute amount of toxic substance which retains the essential essence or properties of the original substance – but can be safely be administered.
Globally there are estimated to be over 100,000 homeopaths with an estimated 500,000,000 people receiving treatment. A 1985 study which looked at the percentage of people in various countries who have used or are using a homeopath found the following – France 32%; Netherlands 31%, Denmark 27% & 16% of the Untied Kingdom.
Homeopathy was regulated by the European Unio & 2001 (directive 2001/83/EC) & the popularity in the UK is such that there are five homeopathic hospitals all of which are funded by the NHS. In addition homeopathic remedies can be purchased over the counter.
The Homeopathy Approach
Homeopaths approach diagnosis & treatments holistically – that is to say they take into consideration the whole body & general well being treating the whole body rather than the specific disease. This approach extends to the initial consultation where the patient’s day to day life will be looked at; other symptoms which may be exhibited & medical history.
The remedies, which are prescribed, are designed to challenge the body’s immune system enabling it to attack & cure the disease/ ailment itself. Following each visit the homeopath will assess the changes & improvements enabling them to adjust the formula of the remedy.
Homeopathic remedies have been recognised for many years as an effective & safe form of treatment for physical & mental illnesses for children & babies as well as adults.
Article Submitted By
David Ibbotson, GoToSee Journalist