Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine

Overview

Homeopathy is a natural, noninvasive system of medical treatment based on the theory that substances that cause certain symptoms in a healthy person can—in diluted amounts —cure those symptoms in an unhealthy person. Thus, we have a tendency to get the name homeopathy: homeo for similar,pathy for disease. The logic is that the similar substance promotes healing by stimulating your body’s natural healing mechanisms.

The term “homeopathy” is usually incorrectly wont to see nearly any different approach to medicine—especially the employment of seasoning and different natural remedies. The apply will, however, share a lot of in common with different varieties of different health care. For instance, homeopathy, like another kinds of practice of medicine, takes a holistic approach to health: It focuses on the whole person, not solely on the condition. Homeopathy is intended to assist the body heal itself—not to suppress or management symptoms. In conventional—or allopathic—medicine, the aim usually is to manage unwellness through medication or surgery. Homeopaths contend that this approach usually fails to revive the patient to health and solely suppresses symptoms. Homeopathy seeks to revive health instead of to cure unwellness.

Samuel Hahnemann, a German doc, founded homeopathy in the late 18th century, and it came to United States around 1825, spread by American physicians who had studied in Europe and embraced the approach. Its popularity reached a peak in the 19th century. As allopathic medication (the term applied to the overall apply of medication today) gained prominence within the twentieth century, medical aid fell off dramatically. It’s always been popular in many European and Asian countries, and it’s starting to regain a following here, thanks to the current interest in alternative and complementary approaches to health care.

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, about 3.9 million U.S. adults and about 900,000 children used homeopathy in 2006. Since there’s no single entity counting patients or practitioners, it’s impossible to know exactly how many Americans use homeopathic remedies—and it’s particularly difficult to determine which consumers buy the products as a result of area unit|they’re} “natural” and that are creating the acquisition as a result of they embrace medical aid. But makers do gauge sales, and sales of homeopathic remedies ar on the increase.

Today, there are estimated to be several thousand homeopathic substances on the market. Most are available without a prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies them as medication. The homeopathic Pharmacopoeia—the official listing of homeopathic remedies—was incorporated into federal law in 1938.

The FDA regulates these products, but differently than it does other drugs: There’s no expiration date requirement and no limit on the percentage of alcohol they contain. And these formulas do not bear a similar scrutiny as typical prescription drugs. The authority points out that safety is not a priority, since homeopathic drugs have little or no pharmacologically active ingredients. Nevertheless, the labels must include at least one indication (medical problem to be treated), list of which substances are included (and at what dilution), instructions and an indication as to how to take the remedy. Also, homeopathic remedies claiming to treat serious diseases like willcer can solely be oversubscribed by prescription.

These remedies, derived from plant, mineral and animal sources, are used to treat patients with conditions ranging from depression to diarrhea. Minute traces of a specific substance ar wont to stimulate your innate healing processes. A good example is nux vomica. Consumed in giant quantities, nux vomica can cause nausea (it’s a seed from the Strychnos nux-vomica tree that contains strychnine). In very small, highly diluted doses, however, it is a typical homeopathic remedy for treating nausea and upset stomach.

Here’s how the remedy is created: A plant extract is mixed in alcohol and/or water at a 1:100 ratio and vigorously shaken in a process called “succussion.” The resulting formula would be labeled 1C. If the process is repeated with a drop of the 1C formula, it becomes 2C, and so on. The more times this is done, the more potent the remedy is believed to be. The homeopathic belief is that the substance leaves its imprint or skeleton of the molecule, and thus the water (or alcohol, or other base) is “potentized.” The more it is jolted and diluted, the theory goes, the greater the imprint. Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies ar usually the smallest amount diluted and also the least potent. Doctors of homeopathy generally prescribe the higher potencies.

While classical homeopaths value more highly to provide one remedy at a time, several of the over-the-counter medical care remedies ar mixtures of drugs.

Depending on whom you raise, you’ll hear that medical care remedies will treat Associate in Nursing virtually infinite variety of conditions, together with skin condition, arthritis, cartilaginous tube and metabolism issues (including colds and asthma), bruises, cramps, cystitis, depression, diarrhea,diabetes, organic process issues, insomnia, emission issues, psoriasis, stress, toothache, varicose veins—even worms. While homeopathy has many followers who are convinced of its efficacy, more studies need to be done.

One problem is that since the treatments are customized to the individual, it’s hard to conduct the strict double-blind scientific studies that are generally done to test the validity of an allopathic treatment.

But some research does exist. A 2004 study rumored within the journal Rheumatologyfound that homoeopathy was considerably higher than a placebo at drop-off pain and up quality of life in individuals with fibromyalgia. A study reported in the British Medical Journal in 2000 indicates that the results are attributable to something other than simply a placebo effect. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of allergic rhinitis patients, the homeopathy group demonstrated significant improvement compared with the placebo group. And a study published in Lancet in 1997 concluded that subjects taking homeopathic medicines are more than twice as likely to see positive results as those taking a placebo.

Such findings are heatedly debated; but, several within the scientific medical profession stay skeptical.

Diagnosis

Homeopaths do not treat specific symptoms; rather, they treat the individual. Accordingly, homeopathic remedies are used in a wide variety of situations. Homeopaths usually treat chronic conditions, such as insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, headaches and arthritis. Homeopathy is also used for digestive problems (including diarrhea), acute infections, bruises and injuries, emotional disorders and various women’s conditions such as PMS, postpartum depression, menopause-related problems and fibroids.

It’s very common for treating metabolism issues, including asthma, allergies, colds and flu.

Finding a Homeopath

If you opt to undertake homoeopathy, be sure to let your regular health care professional know. He or she could also be able to counsel somebody. Your local health food store or alternative newspaper may be able to point you in the right direction, as can friends who have tried homeopathy. You can also check out online resources: The National Center for Homeopathy offers a searchable directory, located atwww.safegenericpharmacy.com; it allows you to search by name or location. The Council for Homeopathic Certification also offers a list that’s searchable by name or location at https://www.safegenericpharmacy.com.

With no single regulatory or licensing entity, it’s impossible to know precisely how many homeopathic practices there are in the country.

Before committing to a homeopath, ask about his or her training and experience. Laws concerning what’s needed to observe homoeopathy vary among states, so the quantity and quality of training may vary widely. Many homeopaths are regular physicians—licensed medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) who studied homeopathy in addition to their traditional course of study. Doctors of treatment (ND) studied homoeopathy as a part of their grad school coaching. Homeopaths may also be chiropractors, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, acupuncturists and other health care professionals. They can be lay people with special training.
While there is no central certification program in the United States, a number of organizations provide certification, including Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC), North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH), American Board of Homeotherapeutics and the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP).

MDs and DOs can obtain certification from the American Board of Homeotherapeutics and use “D.Ht.” after their names; naturopathic physicians can earn a Diplomate of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (DHANP); and the North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH) grants registered status (RSHom (NA)) to homeopathic practitioners who meet its requirements. Other non-physicians (including naturopaths United Nations agency don’t seem to be naturopathic doctors) will earn a licensed in Classical homoeopathy (CCH) degree through the Council for medical care Certification.

Other organizations may offer other designations or degrees, so be sure to ask if you don’t recognize the letters after your practitioner’s name.

Your First Visit

One of the basic tenets of homeopathy is that each person is sick—and heals—in a unique way. Your cough can’t be treated like your husband’s or your sister’s. So the homeopath looks at your symptoms, but also talks to you about your mental, physical and emotional health.

This process not only provides information to the practitioner, but it’s designed to give you a sense of being heard. You’ll probably be in the office an hour or even two.

Be able to answer questions on your ingestion habits, sleep and work patterns, health history, stress factors and more. Some queries could seem personal and unrelated to your condition, but that’s how the homeopath gets the complete picture of your health. Of course, he or she’s going to conjointly raise regarding your specific criticism.
If your homeopath is a naturopath, a chiropractor or practices conventional medicine (MD, DO, nurse, etc.) you may undergo a physical exam, including urine and blood tests. It all depends on the practitioner and on your symptoms.

Treatment

After talking to you for a while, your homeopath will give you a customized treatment. It may involve some changes to your diet or exercise habits, and it will most likely include homeopathic medicine—probably either as a tiny sugar pellet soaked in the liquid or as a liquid. Most are taken orally, but it may be in a form you apply topically.
Here are some common homeopathic remedies; all are highly diluted:

  1. Arnica montana is the most common. It’s used topically and orally for relief of sore muscles, bruises or injuries.
  2. Calendula officinalis (the garden marigold) is used topically to speed the healing of cuts, wounds and other skin irritations.
  3. Ignatia is commonly used to treat grief, anxiety, stress and insomnia.

Particular remedies ar chosen supported the symptoms the substance elicits during a healthy person. The method of determining this is called “proving” the remedy. Healthy individuals receive neat doses of a substance, and their symptoms are observed and recorded. Highly diluted amounts of the substance are then determined to be remedies for those symptoms in an unhealthy person. Provings are done in a scientific and controlled manner. The provings are listed in a homeopathic repertory, which is the homeopath’s referral text. By examination a personality’s symptoms to the listed provings, a particular remedy can be selected.

Traditionally, only one homeopathic medicine is used at a time (although, as mentioned earlier, over-the-counter remedies are often combinations). The remedy may work immediately or over time.

Some medical care remedies ar thus diluted that no molecules of the initial substance remain; the FDA points out that it’s nearly not possible to spot any active ingredient.

No one looks certain however these extremely diluted substances work; most practitioners ar

Don’t expect any miracle cures; the goal of the medicine isn’t to attack your symptoms, but to bring you to full health. You may not feel better right away. In fact, homeopaths typically expect Associate in Nursing aggravation of symptoms because the remedy takes impact. If you have a chronic condition, it could take weeks. Still, if you don’t notice any improvement in a few days, let your homeopath know. After reviewing your case, he or she will come up with another approach. Homeopaths may try various remedies before finding the right one for you. (Some may have a computerized database to help with the process; others will research in books.) For chronic illnesses, you may require a number of remedies to peel off the layers of illness, much like peeling the layers of an onion.

You should seek additional medical attention if you have a serious medical condition that isn’t responding to homeopathy. And, of course, trauma injuries, serious infections, broken bones, internal bleeding and conditions such as AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes should not be treated by homeopathy alone. Homeopathy might prove extraordinarily useful as Associate in Nursing adjunct treatment, but you should consult a licensed, conventional health care professional as well.

Don’t stop taking the medications that have been prescribed to you; most are generally compatible with homeopathic drugs. Some, however, such as antibiotics, hormones, anti-inflammatories and steroids, may not be so let your homeopath know what you are taking.

Different homeopaths can place varied restrictions on what you’ll be able to consume with a selected remedy. You’ll probably be asked to avoid low, strong tea, application (mouthwash, cough drops, etc.) and camphor-based merchandise for thirty to hr before taking the medication or avoid them completely for the duration of the therapy.

Your homeopath will discuss how often and for how long you need to continue taking the remedy. As with most aspects of homeopathic care, it varies by individual. If you can’t drink alcohol, be sure to find out if the remedy has an alcohol base—some homeopathic remedies contain large percentages of alcohol. Often, the alcohol can be evaporated off, since the remedy is given in water.

Facts to Know

  1. Commonly available homeopathic remedies are generally considered safe since they are so highly diluted; most are available without a prescription.
  2. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t limit the percentage of alcohol in homeopathic remedies.
    Although, given the usual doses of three to five drops at a time, very little alcohol is actually consumed.
  3. Homeopathy, already popular in many European countries, is gaining increasing stature in the United States; millions of people annually seek out some sort of homeopathic care.
  4. The FDA regulates the manufacture and sale of homeopathic medicines. The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States was written into federal law in 1938.
  5. Traditionally, only one homeopathic medicine is used at a time, although combination remedies are commonly found in health food and other stores that sell the remedies over the counter.
  6. Homeopathic practitioners often have health care training, such as a degree in dentistry, medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic or naturopathic medicine.
  7. Naturopathic physicians, unlike most other licensed health care professionals, receive formal homeopathy training as part of their standard medical school curriculum.
  8. The law of similars, a basic tenet of homeopathy, states illness can be cured by a substance that creates symptoms in a healthy person similar to those the patient is experiencing.
  9. Homeopaths tailor their treatments to the patient; two people with the same condition may not receive the same remedy. Environmental factors, diet and health history all determine what type of remedy you receive.

Key Q&A

  1. Are homeopathic remedies dangerous? Could they harm me?It’s extremely unlikely. Homeopathic medicines square measure extremely diluted—there’s just about no discernible trace of the active ingredient.
  2. Isn’t homeopathy the same as herbal medicine?No. medical care medicines square measure made of terribly tiny quantities of a substance––herbal, mineral or animal primarily based. The final product is highly diluted. Herbal medicine doesn’t involve diluting the medicinal herb.
  3. The homeopathic remedy seems to be working. Can I go off my blood-pressure medication?Not while not asking your health care skilled (the one World Health Organization prescribed the blood-pressure medication). You could put yourself in danger if you stop taking the medication, especially for such serious conditions as high blood pressure.
  4. Why do I have to answer so many personal questions?The object is to find out all about you—not just your symptoms. Homeopaths, like many various health care practitioners, believe that health and disease are related to issues far beyond just germs and infection. Mental, physical, spiritual and environmental factors all play a role. They take these factors into thought before arising with a remedy specifically elect for you.
  5. What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?Homeopathy is one tool among many who naturopathic physicians use. Some homeopaths are naturopathic physicians and vice versa. The practices are complementary.
  6. So how do these remedies really work?No one seems to know for sure. Studies are under way to see how well they work but not to determine the mechanisms behind them. The theory is that medical care remedies facilitate boost your own natural defenses, permitting your body to heal itself. Other than that, it remains a mystery.