What is homeopathy?
This is how The Society of Homeopaths explains homeopathy:
“Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, given mainly in tablet form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their specific symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to each patient.
Homeopathy is based on the principle that you can treat ‘like with like’, that is, a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat similar symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to treat people with these symptoms. This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine, for example, the stimulant Ritalin is used to treat patients with ADHD, or small doses of allergens such as pollen are sometimes used to de-sensitise allergic patients.
Homeopathic medicines (which homeopaths call remedies) are prepared by specialist pharmacies using a careful process of dilution and succussion (a specific form of vigorous shaking).”
How does it work?
What we understand in practice is that a homeopathic medicine, correctly selected for you as an individual, can stimulate your body to return to a healthy balance. The aim is also to stimulate changes in your state of mind and energy levels so that you can cope more easily with life’s stresses.
According to The Society of Homeopaths:
“As yet, science has not been able to explain the mechanism of action of ultra high dilutions in the body, but laboratory experiments have demonstrated that homoeopathically prepared substances can cause biological effects and are distinct from ‘pure water’, as some sceptics have suggested. There is also a growing body of research into homeopathy in practice that supports the suggestion that homeopathy can be effective, cost- effective and safe as a treatment option.”
There is also a growing body of research evidence that homeopathic medicines have clinical effects.
Homeopathy throughout the world
Homeopathy was developed over 200 years ago and it is still developing in the 21st century. Modern homeopaths use the knowledge and vast clinical experience of the past together with up to date technology and research.
Millions of people around the world use homeopathy.
- In the UK 12% of the population trust homeopathy1.
- 100 million European citizens use over-the-counter or prescribed homeopathic medicines2.
- Homeopathy is available as part of the national health systems in Britain, Germany, France, India and Brazil.
- 56% of French people use homeopathy3.
- India leads in terms of the number of people using homeopathy with 100 million people depending solely on homeopathy for their medical care.
- Well over 200 million people around the world use homeopathy 2,4.
1 Global TGI barometer, issue 33; Jan-08. 2 Commission report to the European parliament and Council on the Application of Directives 92/73 and 92/74, Com (97) 362 final; Jul 97. 3 IPSOS 2012. 4 Prasad R. Homeopathy booming in India. Lancet, 370 November 17, 2007, 1679-80
I like homeopathy because it looks at the whole person and not just the symptom on its own. It treats you as an individual.