Homeopathy Revisited

Last night, a national television programme ran a detailed segment on the pros and cons of homeopathy. Is it a scam or is it a valuable and accurate mode of alternative therapy that has its place as a modality of treatment?

Critics of Homeopathy believe there is not yet enough empirical evidence of accurate research to denote its true efficacy and value while its proponents and supporters value and espouse it as a subtle medicinal process that actually teaches and trains the body to work with itself and strengthen itself – activating its own healing responses – so that it is the agent of improved health and change.

Today, we revisit this natural remedy, focusing particularly on its origins and history.

Natural Health and Homeopathy – Like Cures Like

This assertion that “like cures like” is not only found in Homeopathy. In fact Hippocrates, the father of western medicine actually asserted this same principle in about “400bc when he prescribed Mandrake root to treat mania by prescribing a smaller does that what would produce mania.”[1]

In the later 1700 and 1800’s, the German physician Samuel Hahnemann expounded upon this generalised principle and[2] set up a system of treatments and medications that proposed smaller doses of single medicines and also stipulated that illness may in fact have a spiritual or today what we would call a psychological component.

According to the Australian Association of Professional Homeopaths, “homeopathy is an exceptionally safe form of medicine which treats the whole individual.” The Association also attests to Hahnemann’s early development of this system by way of personal experimentation on his malaria fevers and manias, using Cinchona bark. (Chincona bark is the raw material from which quinine is derived.)

It also states there are 4 most common reactions to taking homeopathic medicines. These are:

  • The patient improves and gets better. At this time repeat of medication should not occur while the patient is improving as this disrupts the body’s capacity to heal itself.
  • The patient might improve in the short term – for possibly 60 minutes through to a few days, then remains in a state of stasis or reversion to illness
  • Symptoms get a little worse after taking the homeopathic medicine. This reaction is somewhat common and is not an indication that the homeopathic approach is not working. Rather it can be an indication things may be on course.
  • The patient experiences absolutely no change whatsoever.[3]

A good homeopath will navigate through these variant responses and help the patient work with what is happening.

Regardless of your belief in Homeopathy, there is no doubt it is now a medicinal and natural health system that is gaining profile. The 7PM Project segment on Australian commercial television attests to its increasing mainstream profile and its ready acceptance by many in the Australian community.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

[2] http://homeopathy.org.au/homeopathy.html

[3] Ibid