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About Homeopathy  


Natural Sources


Homeopathic remedies are made from natural sources, mainly from plants and minerals.  The original material is initially crushed, preserved in alcohol and diluted in a large quantity of water so that all toxic elements are eliminated, although the beneficial properties remain in a subtly different form. The remedy is then administered in pill, tablet or liquid form, making it quick, easy and pleasant to take.

 

Like Cures Like

 

Homeopathy works on the principle that ‘like cures like’.  Simply put, it means that a substance which can cause certain symptoms can also, if given in much smaller doses, help alleviate similar types of symptoms.  One example is the remedy Urtica Urens, made from stinging nettle.  Contact with the stinging nettle plant can cause an outbreak of hives or a red, itchy rash.  Giving the homeopathic remedy Urtica Urens on the other hand may help relieve a similar kind of rash.

 

 

The Whole Person

 

If you have a complex problem, it’s often a good idea to consult a qualified homeopath who will consider all your symptoms as a whole, both on a physical and emotional level, before prescribing a remedy to fit you as a person.  This means that any two people suffering from the same condition – flu, for example – might require separate remedies because, as unique individuals, they will express their condition slightly differently.  

 

It sometimes takes a high level of skill on the part of the practitioner to find the right remedy for a person.  So if you’ve tried homeopathy before with only limited results, don’t despair.  Often all that’s needed is a little extra information about you.

 

Consultations

 

In the consulting room, the homeopath will ask you a range of questions touching on the state of your physical and emotional health, as well as your lifestyle, your diet, your personal and family medical history and any other concerns you might be having.

 

The information will help the practitioner select a remedy and will also give pointers to other ways you might help yourself, by modifying your diet or taking more exercise for example.

 

 

Minimum Dose

 

Homeopathic remedies are deemed to have a gentle but powerful action and are generally safe to take, especially in small doses.  As such they can often be used successfully alongside conventional medicines or other complementary therapies.

 

However, people are often surprised by how few pills they’re asked to take.  This is because homeopaths abide by the principle of the ‘minimum dose’, which means only giving as much or as little of a remedy as is needed to bring about a positive change.

 

Once you start feeling better, it means your body has already instigated a healing response which may continue for some time without the need for further intervention.  As a result, many homeopaths choose only to see their patients on a monthly basis to give time to assess the nature and duration of their response.

 

 

Potency

 

A word about potency.  When you buy remedies off the shelf, most will be in a 6c or 30c potency.  The number refers to the degree to which a substance has been homeopathically diluted.  Paradoxically perhaps, the greater the dilution, the stronger the action of the remedy, which means that a 30c potency will have a slightly more powerful impact than a 6c, and can be used to address more intense physical and emotional symptoms.

 

On the whole however, both these potencies are on the milder end of the scale and can be taken more frequently than the more powerful higher potencies such as the 200c which are best prescribed by trained practitioners.


Looking After Your Remedies


Remedies should be kept away from direct sunlight and ideally from strong smells such as coffee or mint.  They should be handled as little as possible and pills should be allowed to dissolve easily on or under the tongue.

 

When you take a remedy, make sure you allow 5 or 10 minutes before and after eating, drinking or brushing your teeth so that you take it on a clean palate.

 

If giving remedies to babies and little children, you can dilute in a small amount of fresh water or crush the pill between two teaspoons for easy absorption.

 

GP

 

Don’t forget that many homeopaths are not medical doctors and do not diagnose illnesses.  Always keep in touch with your GP and consult your doctor if your symptoms fail to improve or if you are using medication of any kind.

 

 

History

 

Homeopathy has been practiced for over 200 years and is particularly popular in Europe, the Indian sub continent and in parts of South America. Developed in the 18th century by German doctor Samuel Hahnemann, its roots go back to forms of tradtional medicine. Today, its advocates include Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Charles and David Beckham. In the UK, the NHS funds the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.