What Is Homeopathy?

Herbal medicine with dropper bottle and wild flowersHomeopathy is a complete system of medicine developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), based on the principle of “like cures like”.

Hahnemann found that many substances, when administered to healthy people, could produce symptoms similar to those experienced by sick people.  He also found that illnesses could be alleviated by using small, specially prepared doses of these substances, if prescribed on the basis of similarity of symptoms.

For example, coffee stimulates the nervous system and the production of urine.  A homeopathic dose of coffee can assist a patient troubled with unusual mental activity and sleeplessness, together with excessive production of urine.

Homeopathy has a 200 year history and is used worldwide.  Its benefits have been experienced by millions of people.  Homeopathy has legal recognition as an individual system of medicine in 42 countries and is recognized as a part of complementary and alternative medicine in 28 others.

Homeopathy has been recognized for its success in treating epidemics such as scarlet fever, yellow fever and cholera.  The success of homeopathy was threatening to the medical societies of the day and pharmaceutical companies.  Laws were passed limiting the freedom of homeopaths to practice.

The aim of the homeopath is to find the SIMILLIMUM.  This is a remedy made from a substance known to cause the total symptom picture that the patient presents with.  Often to begin with, only a similar remedy can be found, not The Simillimum.  A series of remedies may be required to bring about healing.  Success depends on the information provided by the patient and the skill of the homeopath.  It is a collaborative effort.

Homeopathy compared to Allopathy (conventional medicine)

Allopathic medicine is the health care discipline used by a GP.  Allopathic medicine equates healing with the removal of pathology.  The rash disappears, the wart is burned off, tumorous are removed etc.

An example of allopathic treatment would be the administration of antibiotics.  “Antibiotics” are used to kill microorganisms or interfere with their production thus eliminating the infectious agent.

Homeopathy assists the body in a different way.  It strengthens a person’s internal resilience, acting as a catalyst, stimulating and directing the body’s own healing mechanism as well as helping to resolve underlying susceptibility to disease.

Often, after allopathic treatment another condition will appear because the underlying susceptibility to disease has not been addressed.  As an example, asthma may appear after eczema is treated. Depression or anxiety may appear after an itch is removed. On the other hand, homeopathy acknowledges the connection of mind and emotions, body and spirit.  The right remedy stimulates the body’s own vital force to throw off the depression, the anxiety, the asthma, to make a skin eruption reappear, then to throw this of in turn until the symptoms are gone.

Sickness and Disease

Is a person sick because he has a disease or does he have a disease because he is sick?

Disease in allopathic medicine is equated with pathology.

Pathology in homeopathy is regarded as a late, outer representation of a long-standing disharmony in the Vital Force and therefore the last stage of disease.

Homeopathic theory states that the real cause of disease is not the microorganism but the set of conditions in the person’s body, which provides the environment in which the organisms can survive and multiply.

The following quote fits well with the philosophy of homeopathy: “The symptoms and the illness are not the same thing.  The illness exists long before the symptoms.  Rather than being the illness the symptoms are the beginnings of its cures.  The fact that they are unwanted makes them all the more a phenomenon of grace – a gift of God, a message from the unconscious, if you will, to initiate self-examination and repair.”
M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Travelled

Welcome the symptoms – they are the body’s attempt to heal.

Healing VS Suppression

Here are some examples of suppression rather than than healing:

Taking a pain killer at the slightest ache or pain just silences the warning system.  The pill does not heal the real problem.

Disconnecting the wires to the warning system on the dashboard of your car does not fix the problem.

Performing a tonsillectomy is an example of cutting the wires to the warning system.  Many tonsillectomies have been avoided by the appropriate homeopathic treatment.

Applying cortisone crème to a rash suppresses the immune system and silences the warning system.

While I recognize that there are times a tonsillectomy maybe lifesaving it is sad for me to see that the person was not nurtured and guided in such a way that the illness could not have been corrected long before it got to that point.

Cause of Disease

I believe the cause of disease is the inability of an individual’s defense mechanism to cope with unfavorable factors in the person’s environment.  These factors may be physical, mental/emotional or spiritual and can be the result of such things as hereditary influences, past experiences, unresolved issues, poor lifestyle, living conditions and diet etc.  Under such influences the vital force has difficulty maintaining or restoring balance and the result is the manifestation of signs and symptoms, which alert the person to the fact that he is sick.

A homeopath’s response to that is to work in collaboration with his or her patient to find the root cause/s or triggers through in-depth case taking. These are then addressed with the appropriate remedy or series of remedies along with the elimination of obstacles to healing such as lifestyle, inadequate diet and heavy metal toxicities etc.

Homeopathic Research

There are over 600 published research studies of homeopathy and more are being undertaken every day.  Research shows the effectiveness of homeopathy in managing the symptoms of a wide range of acute, chronic and epidemic conditions in both humans and animals, such as eczema, asthma, upper respiratory illnesses, ear infections, fibromyalgia, menopause, diarrhoea, ADHD, irritable bowel and depression.

Optimal Health Centre, Braddon, 02 6162 2919.
Sylvia Hicks © Copyright, 10th August 2014

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