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What is Medical Homeopathy?

By Bethney Foster
Updated May 17, 2024
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Medical homeopathy is an alternative method of treating illness based on the principle of like cures like. Treatments are made using natural substances. A substance is selected for treating a particular disease because the substance would create the symptoms it is intended to cure if it were given in a larger dose. Research has not shown benefits from medical homeopathy in most instances.

A German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, developed the basis of medical homeopathy in the late 1790s. In addition to the principle of like cures like, Hahnemann added a second principle to his practice. The principle of dilutions states that the lower the dose of the remedy, the more effective it will be in treating the disease. In most instances, the substance that made up the original remedy cannot be found in the final solution. The theory is that the substance has left behind an essence in the solution that will cause the body to heal itself naturally.

Homeopathy also stresses cleanliness. As Hahnemann made hygiene a priority in his practice during an era when medicine placed no emphasis on cleanliness, he did enjoy more success in treatment than many other physicians. Because of this success, medical homeopathy soon became popular across Europe.

Medical homeopathy incorporates a holistic approach to healing. Practitioners of homeopathy, known as homeopaths, will do a complete analysis of the patient’s history, body type, and genetics before providing a customized remedy for the afflictions of the individual. The homeopath is also likely to concentrate to an extent on the patient’s diet when considering the best remedies for the individual.

The substances from which medical homeopathy remedies are drawn are components of nature, usually plants, minerals, or animals. Some of the more common remedies are stinging nettle plant, allium, and cantharis. The majority of remedies are made from various herbs.

The substance intended to bring about healing is dissolved into a liquid, usually about 90 percent alcohol and 10 percent water. The mixture is allowed to sit for a few weeks, during which time the homeopath shakes it periodically. This solution, known as the mother tincture, will be further diluted before the substance is used for treatment.

While homeopaths offer remedies for common illnesses such as high blood pressure, allergies, and asthma, many patients seek out healing from homeopaths for conditions for which conventional medical treatments have been ineffective. These include chronic fatigue, infertility, and fibromyalgia. Homeopath remedies are also available for non-chronic conditions such as injuries, colds, and stomach upset.

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