Homeopathy Misunderstood

Homeopathy is one of the most marvelous forms of medicine, but it is also one of the most easily misunderstood.

Not only is it blasted by modern researchers who claim that it can't possibly work because there is no substance left in the pills, but it is also blasted by physicians who claim the effects are only placebo. Well, tell that to babies and animals who have been saved by homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies are NOT just little sugar pills. Just because they are based on energy rather than substance does not mean they are not powerfully effective. Why, if we use radios and cell phones, is homeopathy's energy not acknowledged? Also, having no substance makes them extremely safe, and quite inexpensive.

Another misunderstanding about homeopathy is that homeopathic remedies are confused with supplements. I cannot begin to count the number of times people have mentioned, "Oh, I use homeopathy. I take chondroitin and glucosamine every day," or, "Yeah, that St. John's Wort really works for me," and it isn't the Hypericum 30X form of St. John's wort they mean. Dietary supplements and herbs are not homeopathic remedies. The label will tell you – usually on the front, for single remedies, such as Arnica 30X. If it is a combination remedy, and the ingredients have a number followed by a C, X, or M, or a D in some countries, it is homeopathic. If it does not list ingredients in this way, it is not homeopathic.

And taking that a step further, the use of homeopathic remedies is not necessarily homeopathy in its classic form. For instance, the use of combination remedies is not considered classical homeopathy because Samuel Hahnemann proved remedies one by one to compile his Materia Medica, the basis for choosing the appropriate remedy for an individual. Also, one may use homeopathic remedies to alleviate a symptom, such as taking Rhus tox for arthritis or Nux Vomica for an upset stomach, without considering the symptom pictures of each. Homeopathy functions on 'like cures like', and if the arthritis is worse from movement and worse for touch, then Rhus tox is not a good choice (Bryonia would be better suited). However, even getting 'close' with a remedy picture is sometimes enough to stimulate the body into healing, and homeopathy has been known to work when the odds were largely against it. That makes homeopathy even more astounding. But using a 'this remedy for this' and 'that remedy for that' approach is not the way true homeopathy is meant to be used. That approach is more like the allopathic approach, to relieve and palliate, like taking an aspirin for a headache and pepto for diarrhea. These symptoms will likely return in the future if the underlying imbalance was not addressed. Homeopathy in its classic form would be to look at the individual as a whole and treat according to every symptom, thus matching the symptom picture and the remedy picture as closely as possible. Then cure can be accomplished. And then one can realize the true essence of homeopathy.

Another misunderstanding is that it is a simple task to correctly prescribe a homeopathic remedy. There are two great tasks involved here, and both can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive. Thus the reason we pay homeopaths what we do. Firstly, taking a patient's detailed history can take a few hours, especially if the patient has many years on him. Though one can see patterns over the years that are very helpful, it is difficult to gather and record years and years of ailments and events. Secondly, finding the remedy to match is an even greater task. Each remedy picture is different, but each can have similarities to others. Finding a remedy to suit every detail of a patient takes time and research. It is humanly impossible to remember every remedy and its entire picture, so one must have a suitable library or computer program (with which it is also necessary to consult the library) to research remedies. This may take hours upon hours, depending on the case and the experience/ knowledge of the homeopath. Try to imagine memorizing over 2,000 detailed descriptions of anything! Then take into consideration the fact that homeopaths through the years have added their own experiential findings to the original Materia Medica, and you'll see what I mean. Thus the library…

And one final baffling point: in homeopathy, less is more. The dilution and succussion process of making a homeopathic remedy, that renders even poisonous substances non-toxic and curative, results in a more diluted remedy being the more potent. Go figure. I think it best to call in the big guns of science to unravel that little 'energy' mystery to everyone's satisfaction. I wouldn't want to tackle it… 'the diluter it gets, the stronger it gets'? But that is correct, in homeopathy, anyway. No wonder it is so misunderstood!

Remember: Homeopathy is not herbs… Homeopathy is not taking supplements… Homeopathy is not a placebo… I hope this helps clear up some of the misunderstandings about homeopathy.