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What is Homeopathy?

Natural Law

The guiding principle in homeopathic medicine is the “law of similars”.  

Homeo-pathy derives from the Greek words for like and and suffering.

Bring to mind a picture of traditional balance weigh scales. If you are in perfect balance, or harmony, you have no symptoms.

© Can Stock Photo / JohanH 

When off balance, you show symptoms which can be physical, emotional or some combination of both.

This is the reaction to some action, be it a virus, a shock, prolonged strain or many other things.

The body attempts cure, symptoms result. Symptoms have a purpose. This is a natural law. And, often in a few days, balance is restored.

But sometimes the body gets stuck and needs a helping hand.

Law of Similars

In brief, the “law of similars” says that a substance which causes symptoms in a healthy person, can heal a sick person suffering similar symptoms.

It’s a philosophy which dates back to antiquity, but was formally established in medicine around 200 years ago by the German polymath, and physician Dr Samuel Hahnemann. 

Put simply, homeopathy supports the curative action of the body. It gives a nudge in the right direction.

In contrast, modern western medicine is primarily “anti-pathic”. Here, the Greek derivation comes from the words for opposed and suffering. Thus, there are anti-biotics, anti-depressants and so forth.

Neither philosophy is better than the other. Both are valid.

Maximising your natural healing capacity is the purpose of homeopathic treatment. If that potential is strong, health may return without the use of conventional medications. If not, homeopathy can still support you alongside orthodox treatment including post surgical.

In the UK Homeopathy has a long heritage. The Faculty of Homeopathy for medical doctors was established in 1844.  The Society of Homeopaths for qualified homeopaths recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.   

Homeopathy is practised in many other countries, most notably India.

“[Homeopathy] is not competing with (orthodox) medicine. Homeopaths can take the pressure off doctors .. let hard pressed doctors get on with the things that they can best treat. [Homeopaths] can work side-by-side [with doctors] as they do in India” 

David Tredinnick MP, 2016

Homeopathic medicines

Homeopathic medicines are ultra-dilutions mostly of plant and mineral origin, but some of animal (e.g. the venom of the bee).

By careful experiment, Hahnemann discovered that by a stepwise process of dilution and vigorous agitation the medicinal benefit of the original substance was retained.

This is called “potentisation”.

This permits the use of many more plants and minerals as medicines. For example, the poisonous plant Belladonna, becomes medicine for fever when potentised; one particularly useful in children.

It is the process of potentisation that makes homeopathic medicines quite distinct from herbal or conventional medicines, and to differentiate they are often called “remedies”. 

Thus prepared, homeopathic remedies cease to be chemical.

“[Homeopathy] belongs to the art of medicine … Of course the rules of art should not be merely empirical; they should be in harmony with philosophy and science…Hahnemann’s method fulfils these requirements… his way of regarding disease and [remedy] action is eminently philosophical …  to treat like with likes results logically from the facts of the matter and his reduction of dose follows as a necessary corollary”

Dr Richard Hughes (The Principles and Practice of Homeopathy, 1902 reprinted 2011 8th edition, B.Jain Publishers)

How do homeopathic medicines work?

Despite the long history of therapeutic benefit, supported by clinical trials, precisely how homeopathic medicines work is not fully understood. The subject continues to divide opinions.

Homeopathic remedies don’t act in the manner of conventional drugs. Yet, it is clear that they transmit a certain essence of the original substance.

By analogy to modern technology, they appear to have the quality of information; like a software download.

Thus, homeopathy sits closer to the science of physics than chemistry. And possibly quantum physics at that.

Be that as it may, years of experience show that homeopathy acts gently and deeply.

Because they work differently, homeopathic remedies can safely be used alongside orthodox medicines.

There is still much mystery in who we are as human beings. What is clear is that we are not just a collection of atoms and molecules. We are alive and there exists a life force that is unexplained.

This is where homeopathy engages with us.

Sadly, the quote below from late Dr Wheeler, and former President of the Medical Faculty of Homeopathy, remains all too pertinent to this day.

The good news is that the recently established HRI (Homeopathy Research Institute – see link) is now undertaking painstaking research into the fundamental science. https://www.hri-research.org/hri-research/

“For more than one hundred years the world has wrangled over the value of homeopathy. ..  But dispassionate examination of medical history reveals .. that very few of those who condemn homeopathy have a knowledge even of its principles, to say nothing of its practice.”

Dr Charles Wheeler (An Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Homeopathy, 1978 3rd Impression, Health Science Press)

How can I find out more?

As a first step, please book a FREE 30-minute discovery call. This will help us both to decide whether homeopathy is appropriate for you, and allow you to judge whether I am the right homeopath for you. I look forward to your call. Book discovery call.

society of Homeopaths

Disclaimer: I am a qualified professional homeopath and not a medical doctor. The NHS has many resources, and seeking the opinion of your GP is always of value.

© 2022 Allan Pollock