What is Homeopathy?

Guest Authored by Lynn Mraz, RN, BSN, CGP

There is a misconception that because the prefix of homeopathy is “home,” that it means homeopathy is home remedies you have to make yourself. However, homeopathy is derived from the Greek words “Homoios” meaning like or similar and “Pathos” means pathology or illness.

German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) — the Father of Homeopathy —  served aristocrats and royalty. He became disappointed with the results he and his colleagues were getting and left his medical practice. He searched for alternatives to the toxic effects of bloodletting, leeches, and medicines made from mercury, lead, and arsenic.  He went on to discover a profound natural law, “The Law of Similars.” The Law of Similars states: any substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can also heal the same symptoms in people who are not well.

Homeopathy is fundamentally different from conventional (allopathic) medicine. Allopathic medicine focuses on suppression of symptoms. All medications come with an insert that contains a list of precautions and adverse reactions. Homeopathic remedies, on the other hand, seek to correct the underlying imbalance and strengthen the body’s own defenses so it can heal itself. Remedies have no side effects and are very small. You place them in your mouth and allow them to dissolve under your tongue. They can also be safely given to babies and children.

Homeopathy is a safe and legal alternative to more conventional medicine. It has been monitored in the United States since the 1940’s by the Food and Drug Administration. Remedies are prepared according to the very stringent standards set by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. These standards apply not only to American pharmacies, but also to homeopathic pharmacies throughout the world, making sure all homeopathic remedies are universally standardized.

Homeopathy is the second most used system of medicine in the world. It is used in many places today, including India, Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and more. Two million people use homeopathy on a regular basis. India leads the way, with 100 million people depending solely on homeopathy for their medical care. There are currently over 200,000 registered Homeopathy doctors, with about 12,000 more being added every year. In the United States, according to the National Institute of Health, over 6 million people use Homeopathy.

If you are thinking of trying homeopathy, remedies are available at health food stores, Fruitful Yield, and online. Manufactures are Boiron, Hyland, OHM, Hahnemann, and Washington. The cost of the remedies is 7-10 dollars each.

Here are some general rules:

  • Avoid touching the remedies with your hands, as it could interfere with potency.
  • To take the remedies: twist off the cap and pour the remedies inside it. The usual dose is 4 pellets once or twice a day, but could increase in frequency depending on the severity of the illness. For frequency and duration, I refer to a trusted Homeopathic Practitioner,  Joette Calabreese. Her website — joettecalabrese.com — is full of helpful free information.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for 15 minutes before or after taking a remedy.
  • Store away from heat and electronics.
  • Strong odors can antidote (negate) the remedies. You should avoid these for the entire duration you are on the remedies. Avoid mint (even mint toothpaste), eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, oil of oregano, ammonia, bleach, and paint.

Here are a few examples of remedies, taken from Joette Calabrese’s blog posts: “Ditch the Drugs and Use Homeopathy for Insomnia,” “David vs Goliath,” and “My Solution for Colds and Coughs: Homeopathically, of Course!

Everyone has sleepless nights:

  • If it’s due to anxiety, use Gelsemium 30.
  • If it’s due to worry and overthinking, use Ignatia amara 30 or 200.

Another example discusses stomach issues:

  • Natrum phos 6X is used for indigestion. When indigestion first starts, take 4 pellets. If it isn’t resolved in 15 minutes, take another 4 pellets.

There are also many different remedies for the common cold, depending on your symptoms:

  • Coughs and cold, take Bryonia 200 and Aconitum 200, one right after another. You don’t have to wait 15 minutes in between. Take a new dose approximately every 6 hours or so. The more severe the illness, the more frequently remedies can be taken.
  • Depending on symptoms, there are many different remedies that could be used. For example, if you have a fever or muscle weakness, you would select a different remedy or a combination of them.