Homeopathy is a unique treatment formula proved by a German allopathic physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
This was a coincidental idea that came to him during his practice as an allopathic doctor.
Hahnemann believed that Quinine, an antimalarial drug was the actual cause of death in malarial patients because of its toxicity rather than the disease alone.
He considered that each drug had its own effects on the average healthy individual.
So when he consumed Quinine, he experienced symptoms of malaria though he did have no malaria infection.
Similarly, each patient has his specific symptoms in any disease like fever, headache, etc.
So a person with an ordinary cold gets aggravation in symptoms when he is in a closed room than in open air or sometimes reverse of it.
This made him experiment with some more drugs and built up initial materia medica or repertoire, which had a list of medications and prominent symptoms.
Homeopathy Mechanism of Action
There are a few theories, but as per the founder’s thoughts
Every living body has its own homeostasis wherein all the body functions exist in the state of mutual harmony with sufficient natural resistance to disease or disorder.
In diseased individuals, this homeostasis is altered, and the natural resistance against disease is insufficient or lacking.
So homeopathic medicine brings balance to homeostasis and helps to rebuild natural resistance.
For this, a Homeopathic medicine that can induce similar symptoms like those of the patient in a healthy individual is administered to the patient.
This administration is thought to raise the intensity of symptoms, so the symptoms are more aggravated than before.
The body’s resistance now tries to fight against these new and more severe symptoms, and in doing so, its declined ability to fight the natural disease is spontaneously increased.
The drug’s effect subsides slowly due to its dilution in the body, and now the body is left to fight against relatively weaker natural disease and easily overcomes it.
Thus body regains both, i.e., balances in homeostasis and also natural resistance power.
Treatment with homeopathy
Homeopathy healing considers an individual as a whole, i.e., both body and mind as single.
Humans are not automobiles where if a part is disordered, it is repaired or replaced.
Instead, it is a collective thing where every organ, tissue are interlinked in function and existence. So, alteration of any function in the body leads to alteration of entire body harmony.
Any disease brings alterations in the whole individual and is expressed as symptoms of both mind and body.
So diagnosis refers to evaluating all the symptoms of the individual with the illness, i.e., both of mind and body.
Successful treatment in homeopathy depends on
- Proper selection of drug based on clear-cut symptoms specific to the patient.
- Administration of medicine at suitable potency and proper intervals.
- Careful monitoring of the progress of patient towards a cure.
So both physician and patient, along with his family, play an essential role in the cure of the disease.
Drug research in homeopathy
The drug research in homeopathy is relatively simple compared to the allopathic system. The founder of the method, Dr. Hahnemann, used to test many substances on himself, starting from everyday items from the kitchen like salt, onion, etc.
He also tested many plant extracts by consuming and noting the effects they produce. Every material, when taken by a healthy person for a certain period, will produce few symptoms. These symptoms are noted, and when disease in a person has similar symptoms, this drug is given.
For instance, sodium chloride, i.e., table salt, is considered harmful to persons with high blood pressure. But in homeopathy, it is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. So the with the principle of like cures like salt cures high blood pressure.
Potentiation of drug
So, now the drugs are found based on their ability to produce symptoms in a healthy individual.
But the drug cannot be given as such, as it can cause side effects. Hence, these drugs are triturated using mortar and pestle by the addition of inert substances like sugar or alcohol.
The dilution exists in three forms as
- Decimal diulution: Called as 1x, 2x, 3x etc. These dilutions have actual medicine ingredient and hence produce low effect.
- Cential dilutions: These are dilutions of 100 times and are found as 30C, 200C etc. They donot have medical ingredient in them
- Milli dilution:These are dilutions of 1000 times and are found as 1M.
The more the dilution, the less the adverse effects of the ingredient but the more potent is the medicine.
In decimal dilutions, 1X is made by adding 1gram of drug and 9grams of sugar by trituration.
2X is made by taking 1 gram of 1X and triturating it with 9 grams of sugar.
Thus at 19X, the final atom or molecule of the drug present per Avogadro number also vanishes. But still, the dose will show effect.
In general, for higher efficiency, higher dose or concentration of drug prescribed in Allopathy.
In homeopathy, this is the opposite i.e
The higher the dilution of the drug, the higher its potency or efficiency and duration of effect. This is true and is yet to be explained by science.
Even the severity of symptoms of the administered drug is minimized, adding another advantage.
The dilution is done by using alcohol or lactose sugar.
The drug is given in two forms like
- Lactose Pills: Small rounded pills which have been drenched with tincture of the drugs.
- Tincture: Here drug is given in liquid form as an alcoholic extract of the drug.
Diagnosis of disease: In homeopathy, disease diagnosis is made by evaluating the symptoms told the patient, his family members, and personal examination by the physician.
Prescription: Based on the total symptoms, the drug which can produce more identical symptoms is chosen. For most cases, a drug that matches a minimum of 3 symptoms is prescribed.
Materia medica: This is a book available to every homeopathy physician which contains all the medicines and their symptoms.
- It is tough to ascertain symptoms in animals and small children so as determine the suitable medicine.
- Once tissue is destroyed like in bone fractures, the chances of treatment are minimal by homeopathy.
- Not always the physician prescribes right medicine as the symptoms may not be presented well.
Homeopathy side effects
Many believe that homeopathy has no side effects as it is an alternative medicine system. The amount of drugs involved is very minimal to cause any side effects.
But the reality is that there are chances of side effects by two critical modes.
1. Physical accumulation of drugs:
There are many metallic drugs like mercury, lead, etc., prescribed in homeopathy, but these, when used at low dilutions, are prone to cause heavy metal poisoning, as per recent reports.
2. Alteration of symptoms:
This generally occurs in chronic diseases treatment. When drugs are used at the highest potencies improperly, i.e., when symptoms are not clearly understood or recognized, then there is permanent damage to the totality of the patient’s symptoms, which cannot be corrected later.
So it is advised to avoid irrational use or treatment with homeopathic medicine without proper diagnosis of symptoms and the advice of a homeopathic doctor.
Study of homeopathy
The study of homeopathy is relatively simpler than other systems of medicine. Many people practice homeopathy for their personal and familial benefit.
The study requires you to possess a proper knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, symptoms of diseases and disorders, and the ability to recognize any altered signs in the patient both at the physical and mental levels.
There are online homeopathy courses and distant mode learning courses, but these may not entitle you to professional practice by law.
The involvement in discussions with other practitioners, regular reading of homeopathic journals helps you improve your skill in the practice.
Limitations of homeopathy: Homeopathy also has few limitations like
♦ Not efficient after tissues have been damaged.
♦ In animals, children’s symptoms gathering is not easy.
♦ In some cases, symptoms aggravate before a cure takes place.
Biochemical drugs: Homeopathy also uses biochemical drugs, like the salts of different kinds like phosphate, sulfates, chlorides, etc. These are highly effective in the treatment of disease and hence are prescribed along with Homeo medicines.